TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima Vocational High School will award 25 students their high school diplomas on Dec. 13 at Hotel Tucson City Center on 475 N. Granada Ave at 6 p.m.
PVHS aims to help young people who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of traditional high school. For many students, PVHS is their third or fourth school.
18-year-old Courtney Hausmann suffers from severe anxiety and depression, which has forced her to leave her previous school. PVHS has allowed her to thrive as a student with smaller class sizes and teachers who helped her better understand her personality type and make a career choice based on her needs. PVHS helped make the difference for Hausmann.
“This school’s great,” Hausmann said. “I’ve grown so much. I used to be shy and quiet and now I’m a social butterfly!”
Fellow student, 18-year-old Arianna Fusci, was recommended to attend PVHS by her cousin. She, like Hausmann also responded well to smaller class sizes.
“Everyone gets along really well,” said Fusci, who plans to enroll at Pima Community College and pursue a career in medicine or firefighting. “We’re like a family.”
17-year-old Jesus Medina is convinced he would have dropped out of his previous school given his frustration dealing with dyslexia and not getting the proper help. He enrolled in PVHS after his sister recommended he do so.
“The teachers are very patient here,” Medina said. “They’re very welcoming. It’s a great school.” After six months, Jesus has completed all of his requirements and feels ready for what the future holds.
Of the 25 students graduating Dec. 13, two are parenting, three are homeless and 15 are working while attending school. Each student will speak at the ceremony before giving flowers to a family member or friend who inspired them on their journey toward a diploma.
The graduates have spent more than 1,800 hours taking vocational courses, have put in 1,255 hours in workplace internships throughout the city of Tucson and Pima County and have logged more than 2,300 hours working outside jobs while taking classes. Five of the students have registered at Pima Community College and one has enlisted in the Marines.
PVHS, a public charter high school for out-of-school youth, is accredited by AdvancED. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
PVHS offers classes at two campuses: 175 W. Irvington Road and 5025 W. Ina Road in northwest Tucson. Learn more by visiting the Pima Vocational High School website or calling 520-724-9740.