Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two ROP Members Acknowledged with ACSA Awards

The CCCOE was well recognized with awards at the recent Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region VI, Diablo Valley Charter Awards and Recognitions Dinner, held on March 18, at the Marriott Hotel, in Walnut Creek. Along with each award, there was a heartwarming story told about the recipient. One of the evening’s highlights was a story about two ROP awardees that had a special bond between themselves: an ROP student and an ROP business partner.

(l-r) Valeria Navarrete, Sally Savage, Amy Adams

ROP student, Valeria Navarrete earned the Every Student Succeeding Award and the John Muir Medical Center was presented the Partners in Education Award. The two were presented, that night, with their awards by ROP Principal Sally Savage, who had nominated the honorees late last year.

The John Muir Medical Center has been very involved with the CCCOE’s ROP since 2004, when they became interested in creating a summer internship/education program for high school students in Contra Costa County. Working together, John Muir and ROP produced such a program, with the first students beginning their internships in the summer of 2005. Qualified students are interviewed, evaluated, and hired to work in paid positions at John Muir, 40 hours a week, for eight weeks in paid positions. This admirable curriculum of work and education was created for students to gain important work skills on the job and in their ROP classes, which are held one day a week during their 8-week tenure at John Muir. Along with the real-life skills gained in such a program, the students also earn high school elective credit.

John Muir Medical Center’s Work Force Development Manager Amy Anderson, who received the Partners in Education Award in the hospital’s honor, has spent countless hours evaluating student applications, interviewing candidates, arranging department interviews for final candidates, and overseeing every aspect of the program. She arranges class schedules that include guest speakers from various hospital departments and many department tours.

Valeria Navarrete is a junior at Mt. Diablo High School, in Concord. Last summer, she applied and was accepted into the John Muir Medical Center’s summer internship/education program. Valeria is self-described as “the quiet and shy girl” who never does anything “extra” at school. Along with a challenging home life, Valeria has an IEP, which means she has a caseworker and a speech therapist that help her with her academic work. So with their help, Valeria wrote her résumé, completed the required essay, and successfully filled out the online application. Valeria was selected to interview at John Muir, which went very well. Amy Anderson said that Valeria was articulate, polite, and was clearly interested in doing something to better herself. Amy was anxious to place Valeria in the Medical Staffing Office at the Concord campus.

Valeria was hired and spent a very productive summer with a group of hospital workers who nurtured and cared deeply for her. The internship proved to be a life-changing experience for her. When asked what kind of an impact this made on her, she stated that she has started asking questions in class, and is no longer afraid that she might embarrass herself when speaking in the classroom. In the International Hospitality Academy, she feels she has become a quiet leader. It's quite obvious that Valeria has become more self-confident, and she looks forward to a future in the medical field.

It was agreed by all the attendees, that this special partnership was certainly worthy of celebrating with their awards.