Oakland Unity High School 2008 Graduation

Posted Jun 27 2008

After working with these students for four years I couldn't be prouder. Because everyone loves numbers, 70% were accepted to four year universities! That's something people in Oakland should be talking about. The number could have actually been higher. Nonetheless, that's not the measurement of how far these young people have come and will will go. Plus, the reality is that 4 year colleges don't make sense for everyone right now. Whether they take time off to work, go to community college, go to a technical school, or off to a university, they will make changes in this world! Congratulations! BTW, we were fortunate to have Favianna Rodriguez of Tumis Designs and Dr. Jamal Cooks of San Francisco State as keynote speakers. Click here to see even more pics from this event. Sorry, I couldn't fit everyone on this page!
All photos courtesy of Juan Gomez.


1. Martin Rey Rochin Inda said at June 28, 2008 7:20 pm:

Thanks Mr.Z I agree with what you're saying here, people should give more attention to the positive things in order to stimulate those that have yet to graduate. I also agree that four-year universities aren't for all right now, a couple of my friends are hard at work right now and, even though they are not going to college right now, they are really investing in their future. A particular example stands out to me. I will exclude the person's name for privacy's sake but I was extremely proud to see him turn it around and work his butt off lately. Thanks again Mr. Z, your work during the last four years helped change several lives. If it wasn't for you I may not have developed such an interest for going to college or even been able to proudly graduate with the class of 2008... Oakland needs more schools like Unity and more teachers like the ones there. Please continue your teaching career for as long as you can handle, because your travels and experiences provide a rich education. And the dedication you put into helping your students makes you a teacher and a mentor to many.

2. Mista Z said at July 13, 2008 6:08 pm:

Martin, Thanks for the kind words. I already miss the classroom and working at Unity has been by far the most rewarding experience of my life. Still, I think being Vice Principal is a good change. I have some big ideas on how to keep the school growing. I'm excited to see what you all accomplish out in the world!

3. Suzy T said at July 15, 2008 11:07 pm:

What can I say about my experience at Unity? It wasn't the same as it would have been if I had gone to a bigger and better endowed public school, I'll tell you that; however, I would not change my time at Unity for anything in the world. Knowing myself, I would have probably quit a while ago if the teachers did not care so much and put me on the track to continue my education. It is important to note the acceptance rate of Unity students to colleges because this is a piece of proof to those who don't like charter schools. I would say that Unity does not prepare students just for college but to make them life-long learners instead since countless incidents prove that kids learn as much outside of school as within it. All of your social science classes taught us that by linking the books' dates and facts to more tangible and relative info. PS. Don't abuse your power as VP

4. Mista Z said at July 15, 2008 11:52 pm:

Susana, See, this is why I'm going to miss the past four years. I think I need a tissue. You all are such good kids. If people only knew where you came from ; ) I guess, you're not exactly kids anymore either. Seriously though, I couldn't be more proud of you. As I said above, I'm super excited to see you begin this next phase of your life. Congrats on Inroads!

5. Eric "SLICK" Romero said at July 17, 2008 12:10 am:

hey was up thats coo wat u wrote...and i fully agree with it...i don't really write a lot but haha is all to the good...i decided to do major in computer science and minor in ocean studies...but yeah...i saw that pic of me on smugmug haha its funny i didn't even think that one day i would graduate i seriously thought i would be dead or in jail but i made it through and man i'm i'm ready to really get my life strait...htanks for everything and man i hope the best for everybody at unity staff and students...and to my graduating class of 08 aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiii hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

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