More than 60 juvenile offenders receive high school diplomas in Ventura

CDCR recently  announced the graduation of more than 60 youth from Mary B. Perry High School at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.

This year’s valedictorian is Francisco Javier Lopez, who earned a 3.37 GPA.

“We seek to provide all our students with a quality education that recognizes their needs and unique gifts,” Mary B. Perry Principal Art Westerfield said. “We commend their dedication for reaching this milestone successfully and are very proud of the accomplishments of our youth.”

CDCR’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) operates an accredited school district, providing students with the same high school curriculum in each of its four institutions that they would receive in their local community. Youth attend school Monday through Friday.

DJJ considers a diploma or GED a minimum requirement for parole consideration. Since 2010, a total of 894 youth have earned their high school diploma or GED at one of DJJ’s four high schools.

During that same time, 441 youth earned nationally recognized certificates in vocational training.

This year’s keynote speaker is Luis J. Rodriguez, considered one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with 15 published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature and poetry. He is best known for his memoir of gang life, “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.,” which has sold 400,000 copies.

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