Dozens of students celebrated the completion this week of the Lift While You Lead Empowerment Project, a program that aims to change lives through positive experiences, meaningful mentorships and strong support systems.
The program is part of the Merced City School District’s Summer Academy.
“This is the third group of girls to complete the program and the first year it has been offered for boys,” Merced City School District officials said in a news release.
Participants on Thursday took part in a closing ceremony at UC Merced
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“The program helps students increase their self-esteem and improve academics, discipline and attendance,” officials said. “It also promotes higher education and encourages the students to become leaders in their schools and community.”
The four-week course included classroom activities at Reyes Elementary School and field trips to UC Santa Cruz and other places, including Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch in Mariposa.
“We have two young ladies who just graduated from Hoover Middle School who delivered their commencement speeches. We had one student who was recognized as the ‘Comeback Kid’ because she completely turned it around,” said Annie Delgado, one of the program teachers. “We had two other ladies at Tenaya Middle School deliver their commencement speeches, and another student recognized as the ‘Ultimate Warrior.’”