Local nonprofit recognizes graduates of San Pasqual Academy for their achievements

Friends of San Pasqual Academy
Friends of San Pasqual Academy board members presented the Class of 2021 graduates items that celebrate each individual foster teen. Pictured are Teri Summerhays, Kathy Lathrum, Joan Scott and Andrea Reynolds.

Friends of San Pasqual Academy, a locally-based volunteer organization that has been caring for foster students for over 20 years, wants to make sure every graduate is prepared for his or her next chapter of their lives. These foster graduates not only leave their school upon graduation, they also leave their home. This is a very emotional time for the foster graduates, to say the least. For many, San Pasqual Academy has been the only safe, stable, nurturing home and school that they have ever known.

At a pre-graduation luncheon, each graduate will receive a personalized laundry bag with each student’s embroidered name on it, that is filled with sheets, towels, a pillow and hygiene items. Teen Volunteers In Action has donated these wonderful bags for many years and is coordinated by Kathy Lathrum. Laundry baskets full of cleaning supplies, an iron, laundry detergent, shoe bags, hangers and more are created by National Charity League members and coordinated by Teri Summerhays, board member of Friends of San Pasqual Academy. Hand-made personalized quilts and pillow cases were made with love for all the foster graduates by El Camino Quilting Group. Friends of San Pasqual Academy members are providing a rolling suitcase, filled with more useful items. All 14 graduates will receive a laptop computer and inkjet printer, also from Friends of San Pasqual Academy supporters.

Most of the graduates plan to attend colleges or trade schools that include San Francisco State, Cal State San Marcos, Sacramento State, Palomar College, San Diego City College and Mesa College.

Graduates of San Pasqual Academy
The graduates of San Pasqual Academy are receiving personalized duffle bags that have each student’s name embroidered on them. Pictured are Mary, Jose and Paul Kalafut, who helped fill these wonderful duffle bags for the San Pasqual Academy graduates.

Some graduates are continuing on to receive their master’s degree at various colleges, due to the support of Friends of San Pasqual Academy members. “These are amazing kids who want to pursue a higher education. They have had to attend multiple schools as they’ve moved numerous times in the foster care system, interrupting their efforts to meet the requirements for graduation or develop bonds with other students and adults. When they arrive at San Pasqual Academy, they are grateful to remain at one school, get involved in school activities, and continue their education in a safe, consistent, and stable environment,” states Lois Jones, board member of Friends of San Pasqual Academy. According to Summerhays, “Our foster students’ lives have been changed and continue to change due to the caring efforts of others. They are aware that many people in our community really do care about them and support them in various ways. This committed support of others motivates our foster teens to work hard, pursue their dreams and their self-esteem and self-worth are highly elevated. They are grateful and know others are cheering for them in life.”

Friends of San Pasqual Academy is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Donations can be sent to Friends of San Pasqual Academy, PO Box 8202, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. For more information, visit friendsofsanpasqualacademy.org.