Many believe graduating from high school is easy and something nearly everyone accomplishes. What they don’t see is the incredible barriers some students face to achieving a high school diploma. Barriers such as generational poverty, untreated learning disabilities, having a loved one in jail, experiencing foster care or homelessness or the loss or absence of a parent. These are just a few of the barriers Sharefest students overcome year after year to reach their goal of high school graduation.

This year our team was privileged to watch Sharefest students at each of the 5 LAUSD Continuation High Schools we serve make their way across the stage to receive their high school diplomas. The Sharefest class of 2021 were forced to fight even harder as another barrier was thrown in their path… COVID-19. Yet, they persevered and reached their goal.

A high school diploma is the first achievement on the long climb over the barriers in their path. But Sharefest students graduate with more than a diploma. They have a relationship with a mentor who will continue to support them on their journey into community college or into workforce development. They have life skills to help them achieve autonomy over their lives and decisions. And they understand the opportunities in front of them to continue their climb over the barriers in their way.

We couldn’t be more proud of the Sharefest class of 2021! We hope you will join us in celebrating their achievement and the many achievements to come. If you would like to see more graduations and more barriers overcome, consider donating to Sharefest. The investment and support of our community propel our work and creates a better future for us all.