Over two dozen students were honored on Wednesday from the Grizzly Youth Academy.
Saturday will be the official graduation for the students, but Wednesday night celebrated 28 students who not only graduated, but will become the first person to attend college from their families.
The Grizzly Youth Academy is a partnership between the California National Guard and the Grizzly Challenge Charter School and offers teenagers who have, or are at risk of, dropping out of high school an environment to help them work towards a high school diploma.
"I'm extremely proud. They come in rough around the edges, needing support, and they leave proud. They will look you in the face and give you an honest answer and give you a hard day’s work if you ask for it. They are great kids," said Philip Joel Armstrong, the Grizzly Youth Academy Director.
All students who graduate committed to completing a 22-week residential phase and 12-month post-residential phase at the academy.
128 students will graduate on Saturday.