Forty youth at the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton received a high school diploma or GED today in a significant step toward their rehabilitation.
Twenty-three students received high school diplomas and seventeen earned a GED or a high school equivalency. A number of students also received Computer Technology or Microsoft Office Certifications. Since 2011, students have earned a total of 69 Microsoft certifications.
Concerning the accomplishments of her graduates, Principal Pat Davies said, “We are very proud of the accomplishments of our youth. They have overcome much adversity in their life, and they have now achieved at a very gratifying level by graduating from high school.”
This year’s valedictorian is John Khuu, who earned a 3.70 GPA. The class salutatorian is Yendis Walker, who earned a 3.10 GPA. When asked the most important life lesson he learned while at the Division of Juvenile Justice, Walker replied, “I’ve learned to respect time. You must use it wisely. You must work hard to make good things happen.”
This year’s commencement ceremony guest speaker was Willie Stokes. Stokes is a counselor, mentor, and motivational speaker representing The Black Sheep Redemption Program, whose mission is to empower youth with a sense of self- worth.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) operates an accredited school district, which provides youth offenders 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. Over a three-year period starting with 2010-2011, a total of 894 youth have earned a high school diploma