YOUTH: North County gets $950,000 grant

May 09, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

North County students have a great reason to get better grades thanks to a $949,525 grant the Imperial Valley Regional Occupation Program has received to create its Students Toward Achieving Results program.

STAR will serve 450 academically achieving youth at Brawley and Calipatria high schools and aims of increasing high school graduation and college enrollment rates of North County youth.

Participants will receive mentoring, career assessment, tutoring, participate in math and science classes, leadership development and college-bound activities. Subsidized summer employment in a science or math-related field will be provided for students.

Students ages 14-18 and in grades eight through 11 in North County high schools will be eligible to participate in the program, as long as they have one of the following: a "B" grade-point average or higher, at least a 90 percent school attendance rate, show marked improvement in grades or attendance or achievement in areas such as community service, sports or music.


Steps of Success participants may participate in STAR if they meet eligibility criteria.

The program will initially give priority to 10th- and 11th- grade students, with ninth- and eighth-graders being offered participation if additional slots are available.

IVROP Superintendent Mary Camacho, who wrote the STAR grant, said "the program will begin immediately," with STAR's 30 staff positions already being advertised. Additionally, IVROP has asked Calipatria and Brawley high schools to identify students who might be eligible for participation.

Funding for the program is provided by the Rewarding Youth Achievement grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Twenty-two RYA grants were awarded nationwide, four of which went to California programs.

While the RYA grant has provided for only one year of operation, the program has an opportunity for three additional years of funding.

Partnering with IVROP in the program are Imperial Valley College, the city of Brawley, Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, ATS laboratories of Brawley, Rockwood Chemical of Brawley, CalEnergy of Calipatria, Imperial Irrigation District and the U.S. Department of Interior.

All recipients of the RYA grants are among the 36 "youth opportunity" program locations in the nation, which include low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities and Native American reservations.

Staff Writer Anthony Longoria can be reached at 337-3452.

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