Largest class yet graduates from Pima Vocational High Schoolby Pima County News on Jun. 13, 2012, under One-Stop Career Center, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson, youth
Pima Vocational High School sent 29 graduates out into the world this month, far better equipped than when they entered Pima County’s alternative high school.
The students graduating on Wednesday, June 6, at the Hotel Tucson belonged to PVHS’s “largest graduating class ever in 13 years,” said Director Gloria Proo.
Families and friends whooped with joy.
And as each graduate spoke about what led them to attend PVHS and pursue their high school diplomas, several choked up when they thanked the school’s staff, their parents – and even their own children.
“You change lives every day and have changed my life forever,” one young woman said to the PVHS staff. “I feel like I have grown up and matured in so many ways.”
Emotion filled one young man as he thanked his grandmother, who “has taken care of me my whole life without asking anything in return.”
Another young woman said that discovering she was pregnant became her motivation, instead of an obstacle, to graduate.
“I had to keep moving forward because it just wasn’t me anymore,” she said.
More than 350 students have graduated from PVHS since Pima County started the charter high school in 2000.
Many of its students had dropped out or were at risk of dropping out of other high schools before they attended PVHS. Some have been involved in family or juvenile court. Some have even been homeless.
More than one graduate thanked the PVHS staff for finding them a place to stay when they needed it.
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.
PVHS offers small classes at three small campuses:
- John A. Valenzuela Youth Center
1550 S. Sixth Ave.
- Downtown Tucson
97 E. Congress St., Ste. 30
2600 W. Sweetwater Drive
The next session begins Thursday, July 19. Applications are being accepted until 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 13. Students must attend an orientation that begins Monday, July 16.
As one of the new graduates said, “The teachers don’t just care about how you do in school but how you do in life.”