More Than A Diploma, Hope For The Future

Darryl had lost everything when he arrived at Orange County Rescue Mission – his job, his wife, his kids, and his home, all due to his addiction.  Since arriving, he has worked hard to transform his life and has been able to re-establish his relationship with his daughters.

Darryl also completed 40 high school credits in just 4 months and last week, he stood on stage as valedictorian of his class as he graduated high school.  Darryl, along with 14 other Rescue Mission residents, walked across the stage at Tustin High School to receive his diploma after months of hard work, and years of hardships, mistakes, and hopelessness.

But now, these graduates are filled with joy and hope for their future, which was clear as they shared their aspirations:  to continue education, some through college, medical assisting, production management certification or cosmetology, to be a provider for their family and to be a good example to their children.

All of the graduates shared their appreciation for the opportunity and that their hope for the future comes not only from completing their education, but from taking on a challenge and finishing it.  They have proven to themselves that they can set their minds to something and achieve it. This is bigger than even a high school diploma – this is confidence restored in men and women that have lived for so long believing that they are powerless to do anything positive in their lives.

Our partnership with Tustin Unified School District is what makes it possible for the Rescue Mission to offer high school diploma and completion programs. We appreciate the district’s  support and the vision they share for helping homeless adults get the education they need to achieve self-sufficiency through a WASC accredited program.  TUSD’s commitment to partnership begins at the top with Board of Education President Tammie Bullard and Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin. A special thanks to Tustin Adult & Tustin Connect High School faculty, Principal Dr. Dustin O’Malley, Teachers Lauren Hogan-Miertschin and Jennifer Vorck, and Counselor Hannah Pickerill for their support.

Thank you to Tustin Unified School District for this incredible opportunity that means so much to the men and women at the Rescue Mission.  And congratulations to our 17 Rescue Mission high school graduates on your hard-earned achievement!


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