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  • Pima Vocational High School graduates 25

    Jun 20, 2014 | Read More News
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    Cell phone cameras flashed and “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the room as 25 young people in caps and gowns strode proudly to the stage Wednesday evening at Hotel Tucson Inn Suites.

    PVHSMore than 200 friends and family members were there to celebrate their graduation from Pima Vocational High School (PVHS), a charter school Pima County started 14 years ago to serve young people who had dropped out or were at risk of dropping out of traditional high school.

    Each of the students got a chance to speak to the audience about their experience at PVHS and many talked about “ups and downs,” their “long journey,” and their much-appreciated “second chance.” More than one mentioned losing friends or family members.

    “It has taken me quite a while to stand here,” one student said.

    “I originally attended traditional high school and it just didn’t work for me,” said another.

    “It was difficult to go back to school after having my son,” a third student said.

    In 2013, 92 percent of PVHS students were low income, 37 percent were homeless, 29 percent were parenting and 28 percent were court-involved.

    Each student made a point of thanking the people who helped them reach their graduation goal and named the person or persons they would give a bouquet of flowers to after they spoke – a PVHS graduation tradition.

    PVHSStudents thanked their parents and grandparents, their boyfriends and girlfriends, their own children. There were lots of hugs and tears.

    And every student thanked the teachers and staff at PVHS.

    “Pima Vocational made me believe in myself and made me realize nothing can stop me,” a smiling graduate said.

    A program of the Pima County Community Services, Employment and Training Department, PVHS is an accredited school-to-work school that helps students ages 16-21 obtain a sustainable job through career-oriented work experience in an applied academic setting.

    Of the 156 students who graduated from PVHS in 2011-13, 56, or 36 percent, found full-time employment after graduation; 32 percent found part-time employment, and 21 percent pursued a college education or technical training. Before they entered PVHS, 97 percent were unemployed and not attending school.

    PVHS offers small classes at three small campuses:
    • Senior Academy: 1550 S. Sixth Ave.
    • Downtown Tucson: 97 E. Congress St., Ste. 30
    • Northwest: 5025 W. Ina Road

    Nearly 500 young people have graduated from PVHS since it started in 2000.

    For more information, please visit the PVHS website or PVHS on Facebook.