Ten students who helped design their own educational program made up the first graduating class of Hawthorne’s Da Vinci RISE High, a pilot created to help foster and homeless youth conclude their high school education.
The students had the responsibility and opportunity to help design the pilot program during the 2016-17 school year. The program focuses on building closer teacher-student relationships and support among peers and incorporates a restorative justice culture. All of them will be attending a college program.
“When my granny first introduced me to RISE, I was skeptical that it would be like other schools I’d attended,” said Kia Reid in her commencement speech on graduation night in Playa Vista.
“I had endured negative school experiences in the past where incidents such as fights, suspensions, and neglect were the norm. I didn’t want to relive that. I judged RISE thinking it would be a school just like the others, with no one to support me or help me understand my courses. Yes, I judged, and I judged wrong.”
[For more of this story, written by Esmeralda Fabian Romero, go to http://laschoolreport.com/on-t...-get-their-diplomas/]