San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) will award more than 6000 diplomas and certificates on Friday, July 17, 2020 during a joint virtual Commencement ceremony with San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) at 3 p.m.
“Our students are a symbol of perseverance and a brighter future that exists beyond this pandemic,” said SDCE President, Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D. “A commencement celebration is a very traditional way to honor graduates who have achieved something significant, and although we are meeting in a nontraditional way in this virtual arena, this event is no less special, and in some ways is even more memorable.”
Brian Yamase, a frontline health worker, will be SDCE’s student speaker.
Yamase was born in California and raised in Japan and New Zealand. At 20 years old, he came to San Diego to become a nurse practitioner, finding a head start into the medical field at SDCE.
“I only had a month to prepare for classes, but I was determined to become an educated nurse,” said Yamase. He completed an Acute Care Nursing Assistant certificate in the spring. “The lectures given at SDCE were very conducive in helping us work in a hospital setting.”
Following a campus career presentation Yamase gained employment with Sharp Healthcare. An achievement he credits to free education at SDCE. This fall he will transition to San Diego Miramar College.
In the face of Covid-19 Yamase encourages his fellow graduates, “as we overcome this challenge, we will be stronger to handle the adversities that life brings our way.”
Born to immigrant parents, Debora Green looks forward to joining Yamase in making a social impact after commencement.
Green came to SDCE’s Information Technology program with a master’s degree from Mexico and a background in law wanting to advance her career.
“The classes were hard for me because English is my second language. I had to study 4 to 5 hours a day,” said Green. “During the first month I wanted to quit, not only was I learning to speak better English, I was learning another language in IT.” Despite the linguistic barriers, she completed a Cybersecurity Analyst certificate.
“As a Latina I always notice a lack of diversity and women in the IT sector. Technology is the future,” said Green. “Through education we can help others and close the gender gap. In the future I want to teach girls in developing countries how to pursue cyber security.”
While studying at SDCE, Green earned both a San Diego Promise Scholarship and a San Diego Workforce Partnership/TechHire Scholarship to attend San Diego City College and National University.
SDCE will confer 6,008 certificates and 232 High School Diplomas on July 17, a 5% increase from last year.
SDCE is the center of a comprehensive adult education program serving approximately 40,000 students, many of whom achieve a high school diploma and/or career training certificate at SDCE and then transition to City, Mesa or Miramar colleges.