OYA youth celebrate graduation milestone

Education is an important part of holding youth accountable and aiding their rehabilitation at OYA.

Nearly 150 Oregon Youth Authority students statewide celebrated their graduations in June and July, including four who earned college degrees.

Education is an important part of rehabilitation and accountability for youth at OYA. All youth are required to work toward their GED or high school diploma.

Research from the Rand Corporation shows that incarcerated people who participate in educational programs while in custody are 43% less likely to be arrested for another crime than those who do not.

Congratulations to the OYA youth who are part of the Class of 2022!

Graduates in the community

In the community, 79 students earned their high school diplomas or GEDs in June. Here’s a breakdown by region:

  • Central region: 5 high school diplomas, 2 GEDs
  • Clackamas County: 3 high school diplomas
  • Coos, Curry and Douglas counties: 4 high school diplomas, 1 GED
  • Eastern region: 1 high school diploma
  • Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties: 9 high school diplomas, 2 GEDs
  • Lane County: 9 high school diplomas, 2 GEDs
  • Linn, Benton, Lincoln and Yamhill counties: 8 high school diplomas, 1 GED
  • Marion and Polk counties: 15 high school diplomas, 6 GEDs
  • Multnomah County: 6 high school diplomas, 1 GED
  • Washington, Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook counties: 4 high school diplomas

At McMinnville High School in Polk County, five of the graduates were OYA youth! Their OYA foster parents, foster care certifier and juvenile parole/probation officers were there to cheer them on (see the photos below).

Graduates in OYA facilities

Students in OYA facilities earned a total of four college degrees, 49 high school diplomas, 7 GEDs, and 13 nail technician certificates.

Here’s a breakdown by facility:

  • Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility, Monroe School: 2 high school diplomas
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Lord High School: 15 high school diplomas, 1 GED
  • Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility, Three Lakes High School: 1 bachelor’s degree, 1 associate degree, 10 high school diplomas, 3 GEDs, 11 nail technician certificates
  • Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, New Bridge High School: 2 associate degrees, 13 high school diplomas, 1 GED
  • Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility and Camp Tillamook, Trask River High School: 6 high school diplomas
  • Young Women’s Transition Program, Riverside High School: 3 high school diplomas, 2 GEDs, 2 nail technician certificates

Congratulations to the college graduates!

E.F., Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility – bachelor’s degree, Southern Oregon University

E.J., Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility – associate degree, Linn-Benton Community College

B.R., Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility – associate degree, Rogue Community College

J.T., Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility – associate degree, Rogue Community College

Highlights from facility graduations

Eastern Oregon YCF

MacLaren YCF

Oak Creek YCF and Young Women’s Transition Program

Rogue Valley YCF

Quotes from the graduates

“For me, this is huge. It’s a head start on an education that is 100% worth it. I’m strengthening and investing in myself and taking advantage of this opportunity. Moving forward, I am going to work towards my bachelor’s in psychology, and be a counselor when I get out, and help youth like me who are struggling and need a support person to listen and understand.” – H.P.

“This means I can prove to my family that as much as I may have messed up, I am working towards doing what I can to do good. This also means I have a higher chance of my second look being accepted.” – J.A.

“A diploma is the bare minimum of what is assumed is needed to be successful in society. But having a diploma is big thing, and fuels me to try hard in college and move forward to find my career.” – T.H.

Tillamook YCF and Camp Tillamook

Other facilities

Camp Riverbend in La Grande did not hold a graduation ceremony this term. Camp Florence is planning to hold one in August.

  1. Tiffany Gerber July 26, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these graduates with the rest of us. Best wishes to the students, graduates, teachers and all the professionals and supportive staff who believe our youth are our greatest national treasures.

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