LA Booth Graduates Ten at Own School
Three young women constituted the first graduating class of the Booth High School, located on the campus of Los Angeles’ Booth Memorial Center. Christina Thomas, Ronda Gillespie and Kallila Bledsoe solemnly stood and joined other graduates of the class of 1998 in traditional attire and ceremony.
The departmentalized, multi-modal approach to learning focuses on developing academic strength through individualized sessions in a caring and professional environment. Each young woman in the teen pregnant minor program receives an individual education plan written jointly by Booth High staff and representatives of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The students participate in a token economy system designed to teach responsibility and develop positive self worth.
Lt. Col. Alfred R. Van Cleef, So. Calif. divisional commander, spoke at the commencement. “You have accomplished something very significant in your lives…something very profound and important as you completed your years of public education. I wish this room were filled with every television and news crew in Los Angeles to reveal to the community your achievements. You reveal what we can be.”
Each graduate added her thoughts. Bledsoe, who graduated cum laude, said: “Today, I am very happy and feel successful because I have completed my first goal, my first step to fulfilling my dream of becoming a nurse.” Gillespie said: “In order to graduate today I had to overcome my dislike of school and change my attitude. I proved to myself and my family that I can do anything if I work hard.” Thomas stated: “Many helped me when I really wanted to give up completely. I began to realize I have so much to look forward to. I have a new daughter, and I’m going to have to encourage her to be a good student and stay in school and graduate.”
The Booth Memorial Center is directed by Dr. Margaret Martin.