Rehabilitation through Education
Kimi and Fred keep about 25 students in a class to ensure the appropriate time and resources are given to each one. They do whatever it takes to give their students a second chance, from writing letters to the courts to working directly with probation officers. They do not strictly focus on the academics – instead, a focus is placed on social, moral, physical, and academic health. This holistic approach to education aims to complete the individual and rehabilitate students from their immersion in a corrosive lifestyle. Their goal is not only to provide opportunities for their students, but to transform the way they think about their lives. Just as gangs are contagious, so is education.
Many of its students are caught up in the criminal justice system and have problems with criminal records. For some, it is as simple as receiving a high school diploma to get off of probation and out of criminal justice system. Nearly all of the students are first generation high school graduates.
Los Angeles Community High School also has a mentoring program for kids after they graduate. The administrators will work with graduates for another year to ensure students get enrolled in college and utilize other available services. This is not a binding window, as graduates from over 10 years ago will still call if they are in need of help.
The staff engages in many extracurricular activities with the students, such as educational field trips and sporting events. In order to ensure the highest degree of accountability, the school mandates phone calls emails with mentors at least once every few weeks. Everyone checks up on each other.
The school helps students locate resources and always lends a hand with transportation.
“If they’re with us, and we take them there, they’re willing to go anywhere”.