LCOE honors Sobeyda Verduga with scholarship

June 15, 2012


The employees of Lake County Office of Education donated funds and raised additional funds through events to begin an annual scholarship of $500 for a student graduating from an LCOE program.  LCOE's programs include the ASPIRE (Adolescents Seeking Prenatal, Infant, and Relevant Education)program for teen parents, the Lloyd P. Hance Alternative Community School, and the Renaissance Court School for students at juvenile hall.  According to Wally Holbrook, Superintendent of Schools, "We really want honor the hard work of our students, and our employees were really excited about the idea. So many of our students have overcome amazing odds to earn their diplomas, and we want to recognize that."

The first recipient of the annual scholarship is Sobeyda Verdugo, graduating from the ASPIRE program.  Sobeyda has demonstrated outstanding perseverance in her determination to earn her diploma.  She continued at Kelseyville High School during her pregnancy, but couldn\u2019t continue because of complications with the birth of her daughter, Andrea.  When Andrea was 3 months old, Sobeyda was able to enroll at ASPIRE, and credits the staff with helping her achieve her goal. She says, "They always pushed me to do my best. I graduated late, but I did it.  They have helped me so much, me and my family."

Lori Ferrell, Sobeyda's teacher at ASPIRE, shares why Sobeyda is an exceptional individual, deserving of recognition:

"Sobe is a great candidate for the LCOE scholarship because she has given so much to the Hance and Aspire programs... she was behind in credits and worked hard to catch up, pass her exit exams and work toward her plan to open her own nail salon in Kelseyville.  All the time Sobe was working on making herself better, she was also giving back to the program.  She helps in the child care program with the babies, answering phones and preparing food.  She also helps in the classroom by being a mentor to new students, translating, working on the yearbook, answering phones and taking care of lunch duty.  Sobe is always there to lend a hand and help others, so it is nice to be able to thank her in this way."

Shawn Kealey, staff member at ASPIRE, also explains, "Sobeyda is inspiring because she has a plan that she's been striving for and she stuck to it. She didn't give up. She's a lovely girl."

Sobeyda proudly shares that, at two years old, it is obvious her daughter, Andrea, is "very smart." She shares, "I wasn't very motivated before, but when I had my baby it changed everything. I decided I wanted to graduate and go to college, and now I have a plan."

Congratulations, Sobeyda!

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