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April 22, 2009 > Honored for work supporting youth

Honored for work supporting youth

Submitted By Elissa Miller

At the Asset Champions Awards Breakfast in March, Calaveras Hills High in the Milpitas Unified School District officially received the Caring School Climate award.

Nearly 800 people representing local governments, businesses, schools, community organizations, and the faith community as well as parents and youth attended Project Cornerstone's annual Asset Champions Breakfast on Thursday, March 19 at the Fairmont in San Josˇ.

The event honored the individuals and organizations whose commitment to building positive relationships with young people makes Silicon Valley a better place for young people to live and grow.

The 2009 Asset Champions Breakfast celebrated Project Cornerstone's tenth anniversary of serving Silicon Valley through programs that strengthen families, neighborhoods, communities, and schools, and by ensuring that young people's needs are addressed in public policy.

Calaveras Hills High School is designed to offer a viable alternative to the traditional high school, empowering students to complete their high school requirements in a personalized setting with individualized learning opportunities.

The school's mission is to provide an opportunity for all students to build confidence in their abilities and to establish a foundation for lifelong learning and success in a technological, global society. In 2004, Calaveras Hills was named a Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education, and is eligible for consideration for the 2009 award.

Programs include the Out to Lunch Club (OTLC) mentoring program, which pairs community adults with students at Cal Hills. Mentors commit to monthly lunches with their mentees, picking them up from school and treating them to an off-campus lunch meeting.

The goal of OTLC is to expose students to the world of possibilities beyond high school graduation, and to provide students with positive adult relationships and role models.
In addition to helping students connect with caring adults and develop new perspectives, the program allows adults to form a positive connection with the youth in the community who are most likely to be negatively labeled and stereotyped.

Says nominator Toby Librande, "This school values, respects, and cares about our most at-risk students. Over the years, my students have explained that perhaps for the first time in their high school experiences, someone related to the school actually notices when they are not in class and cares whether or not they come to school."

Project Cornerstone is committed to helping every child feel valued, respected, and known. We are building a community where all adults support children and youth so they find their spark and thrive.

Project Cornerstone works within the YMCA of Silicon Valley and with over 200 community partners and schools to intentionally build in youth the positive relationships, opportunities, values, and skills - known collectively as "developmental assets" - that provide the foundation for a healthy, successful future.

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