Pathway for students to obtain a high school diploma

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – A program at Riviera Beach is working to leave no student behind and help them achieve future success.

Feeling disconnected from high school, Clinton Burke needed a new path to graduation.

“I went to Dwyer School,” says Burke.

That led him to the Career Path Program created by the city of Riviera Beach five years ago.

Valerie Grimsley has been directing the show since it started. It was created for young adults ages 16-19 who have low GPA, few or no credits, or have lost their physical and emotional connection to the K-12 school system.

“They have no motive,” said Grimsley. “So they’re seen as failures. They feel like failures when it comes to us.”

Currently, there are 25 students enrolled, which is the largest class in the city.

Each week, students will study for a high school diploma, and train for a certificate in electrical, plumbing, carpentry, H-VAC or welding.

Jimmy Major, pre-apprenticeship coordinator for Florida Training Services Inc.

Riviera Beach also offers students a monthly stipend based on their progress in the program.

“It could be up to $400. It could be less than $150,” Grimsley said.

An impetus to push forward, instead of stopping or getting discouraged.

“We have a student who has a three-month-old son. So it helps him take care of his son. One of our student loungers surfs. So (thing) that would help) be able to pay for the evening,” Grimsley said.

In the spring, the class graduates with lifelong mentors who believe in them when no one else will.

“Five or 10 years from now, when I see one of the special students through the program become successful, that is a blessing to me,” said the major.

Together with the diploma and the skills set them bright future.

“I know there’s a lot of kids out there who feel like they don’t have a way or a chance,” says Burke. “But if you’re really feeling lost, I feel like they should come to the show.”

Students in the Career Path Program come from areas around Palm Beach County. It is free.

For more information please click here.


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