We want to extend our congratulations to the Bay Area Graduating Class of 2018 who we celebrated on Wednesday, June 13, at Google’s Community Space in San Francisco. During the event, our youth grabbed snacks, met with friends, took pictures, listened to some amazing speakers, and received a Certificate of Completion for the Juma Pathways program.
The lineup of speakers included our Bay Area Program Manager, Teshika Hatch, followed by our Chief Development Officer, Heather Saunders. Two student speakers who delighted everyone with their speeches were Jialin Lu and Sophia Tong. Our MCs for the night were Hasani Mack and Zaina Shaikh, Juma students from the Oakland program.
We also had Juma alumni and staff at the graduation. Allie Ferrey, former Oakland Enterprise Manager, Randall Flores, San Francisco Youth Development Coordinator, and Kim Martinez also a San Francisco Youth Development Coordinator, each had their time on stage to congratulate our class of 2018. The highlight of the night was when our Alumni & Savings Program Manager, Jasenia Quintana, spoke to the students and shared a spoken word piece about the impact that they had on her personally.
It’s no surprise that all of our students have amazing stories and have experienced tremendous growth through their journey at Juma. Here are some brief stories we heard that night:
Luorong Lamu, 18, who graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco and will be attending Mills College in the fall, said that Juma inspired her by “always being there and guiding me.” She added, “It’s mostly a family and you don’t get that with a lot of programs.”
Danise Kuang, 17, who graduated from Oakland Technical High School is now going to Cal Poly Pomona, and she commented that her first experience working at the ballpark was very challenging and that it helped her build confidence. “If I wasn’t in Juma, I wouldn’t have been able to step out of my comfort zone and grow as an individual,” she said..
Sophia Tong, 18, a graduate from Oakland Tech who will head to UC Davis, mentioned: “One way that Juma changed me, was that it taught me that I can be more than who I thought I could be.” She also said that from her experience working at the ballpark, she keeps great memories with staff and friends.
Marquez Shaw, 17, who graduated from Gateway High School in San Francisco and will attend San Francisco State in the fall, said that his first day on the job at the ballpark was scary. But soon after, he learned “to be proactive and vocal, to speak out with my voice to a lot of people.”
Vy Tran, 17, a graduate from Oakland Tech who will attend UC Davis in the fall, told us about the academic support she received at Juma. “Juma motivated me to go to college, now I know that it’s a benefit for me, and it will make my future greater.”
We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended. And once again, a big shout-out to our Bay Area Class of 2018. You will always be a part of the Juma family and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. Thank you to all Juma staff for making possible, possible.
For more pictures please go to https://flic.kr/s/aHskzMvnm6