Weekly roundup: Five OC grads pursue career goals, Fullerton unveils new sports-focused program, and more

Graduates walking

With graduation season upon us, high school seniors throughout Orange County are gearing up to launch their college and career journeys once they receive their diplomas.

The Orange County Register shed a spotlight on five recent graduates who are forging their plans for the future off the beaten path.

Kennedy High School graduate Deborah Okbaab has gotten a head start on her goals of becoming a nurse, earning her license through completing the Patient Care Pathway program. After acquiring hands-on experience via her coursework, she passed the California Certified Nurse Assistant exam and is set to start her first role in the health care field helping others.

Tustin High School graduate Alia Hartwig is taking a different route to serve others by joining World Race, a Christian nonprofit. Choosing to defer her acceptance to Baylor University, Hartwig plans to spend the next nine months helping those in need from Malaysia to Romania.

Los Alamitos High School graduate Sariah Ibarra has signed on to play rugby professionally with the USA Women’s National Rugby team. This summer, Ibarra plans to kick off her athletic career traveling around the world with the USA Eagles and completing college courses while off the field.

Tustin High School graduate Aaron Rodriguez-Herrejon plans to blend his passion for music and serving the country by enlisting in the military and playing trombone for the Army National Guard Band. With his family’s support, the 17-year-old will begin his service with basic combat training and music training.

Anaheim High School graduate Guillermo Chavez Barajas is lighting up the path toward working as a wireman, connecting electrical systems to outside power sources. Thanks to his training in the Building Industry Technology Academy, Barajas will use his skills in the various construction trades to connect with professionals in the field.

With support from their teachers, administrators and classmates, these graduates are stepping into the next chapter of their lives with the goal of using their unique skillsets to make a lasting impact.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • On Wednesday, students and staff from Hope View Elementary School reunited with some four-legged friends they helped to train as part of the Ocean View School District’s annual Service Dog Day.
  • Orange County middle and high school students took center stage at the Directing Change Film Program and Contest awards on May 21, earning honors for their original short films promoting awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.
  • On June 8, the Inside the Outdoors environmental education program plans to recognize World Ocean Day by hosting a free cleanup event at Salt Creek Beach Park in Dana Point.
  • Trabuco Elementary School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District was recently named a 2024 California Green Ribbon School for its on-campus environmental efforts via composting programs and gardening projects.
  • After spelling her way from Westminster, California to National Harbor, Maryland, Stacey Middle School student Katelyn Nguyen buzzed in at 60th place for the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • The Orange County Department of Education is preparing to unveil three model curriculum projects — the Cambodian American Studies Model Curriculum, Hmong History and Cultural Studies Model Curriculum, and Vietnamese American Experiences Model Curriculum — starting September 2024.
  • Oak View Elementary School students with disabilities played soccer and tossed Frisbees while engaging with their peers at the 33rd annual Ocean View School District Special Olympics event.
  • In the fall, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District will expand its dual enrollment program to two campuses and give students the chance to earn college units in courses like world languages and advanced mathematics.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.