Weekly roundup: Vital Link offers 10 CTE scholarships, report warns of youth mental health crisis, and more

On the heels of Vital Link President Dr. Brian Dozer’s ambitious bike tour of Orange County, the nonprofit is offering 10 scholarships to help local students offset the costs of attending community college.

Online applications are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17 for the 2022-23 Pedal-ED Scholarship. Top candidates will be reviewed by a committee, and the winners will be notified by Friday, Jan. 7.

Brian Dozer with bike and OCDE staff
Vital Link President Brian Dozer toured campuses across Orange County to raise money for career technical education scholarships. He’s pictured above with Central Orange County Career Technical Education Partnership (CTEp) Coordinator Joyce Foss (left), OC Pathways Coordinator Kim Goodwin and OCDE Career Education Director Kathy Boyd.

Founded in 1995, Vital Link works to bridge gaps between education and industry leaders with the goal of preparing students for careers in sectors such as robotics, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, computer programming, digital media and automotive technology.

In October, its president, Dr. Dozer, embarked on a bike tour called the Pedal-ED initiative to visit every high school district, community college and regional occupational program in the county. The goal was to promote career technical education and raise money for its scholarships.

Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in CTE courses at an Orange County high school or community college with a minimum GPA of 2.5. The application itself takes about seven minutes to complete and must be accompanied by a school transcript and one to two letters of recommendation from a CTE instructor or counselor.

To apply for a scholarship, visit bit.ly/pedal-edscholarship22-23. You can learn more about Vital Link at www.vitallinkoc.org.

And here are some of the other stories we’re tracking this week:

  • U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued a rare public health advisory this week to sound the alarm about the mental health struggles facing young people. His 53-page report says symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled over the course of the pandemic.
  • Sunburst Youth Academy, the military-style academic program operated by the California National Guard in partnership with OCDE, has space and scholarships available for its upcoming session, which starts in January.
  • School districts across Orange County are receiving millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funding, the Orange County Register reports. While spending plans vary, a common goal is to support students who have struggled through the pandemic.
  • The Anaheim Union High High School District’s Board of Trustees is poised to decide the fate of Anaheim High’s 100-year-old mascot, the Colonist, following a student survey.
  • The Orange County Board of Education has extended the deadline for candidates interested in filling the vacant Fourth District seat formerly held by Tim Shaw.
  • Joseph Farley, who was superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District from 2010 to 2014, has written an autobiography documenting his experiences as a California educational leader who felt forced to conceal being gay as he navigated the country’s cultural changes.
  • Leaders of the Orange County Classical Academy charter school have submitted a countywide charter school petition to the OC Board of Education. If approved, operators would be able to run multiple schools across the county, the Daily Pilot reported.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested in an interview that the Los Angeles Unified School District should adjust its vaccine mandate to ensure that thousands of students who are at risk of not meeting the January deadline won’t be barred from classroom learning, CalMatters reported.
  • Alberto Carvalho, who has led the Miami-Dade school system for more than a decade, has been tapped as the next superintendent of the massive Los Angeles Unified School District. LA School Report has four facts you should know about him.
  • And finally, San Juan Elementary School teachers and staff are asking the community for donations to help students attend an outdoor science school at the Emerald Cove Outdoor Science Institute in San Bernardino County.

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.