YATC's Class of 2016 graduates
YATC proudly announces the graduation of the 27 young men of the Class of 2016. More than 350 guests celebrated the achievements of YATC's 37th class.
"YATC is a place of knowledge and it's more like a family," said graduate Jacob Sainz De La Torre. "I cannot thank Mr. Moran enough for his vision to create YATC."
Sainz De La Torre received the Bruce Rossmeyer Memorial Kick Start Scholarship Award, which includes a full tuition scholarship to attend a technical/vocational school.
With the assistance of YATC's staff and its volunteer tutors, two of this year's graduates earned their GEDs and four have received their high school diplomas. During the commencement ceremony, 11 graduates were awarded scholarships for continuing education, four of whom received special recognition for notable achievements.
Pictured above right are (from left) Tavares Hill Jr. (Outstanding Attendance Award); Sainz De La Torre; Steven Lawrence (Turnabout Award honoring the significant changes in his life); Jahkeem Bullock (Jump Start Award for excellence in automotive knowledge and repairs); and Executive Director Terry Routley.
YATC President Emeritus G. Richard Knox was memorialized at the start of the graduation program, acknowledging his involvement in establishing and shaping YATC's curriculum alongside Founder Jim Moran. Knox passed away in late 2015. His partner, Judee Newman, his daughter and son-in-law Shawna and Louis Giacomini were in attendance, as was Sid Wolk of The Cross Country Group, another instrumental YATC supporter from the school's inception through today.
Judge Melanie G. May of Florida's 4th District Court of Appeal is pictured at right with YATC Board President Larry McGinnes (left) and Routley as she received the Jim Moran Award. This award is given annually to one of the program's outstanding community partners. Judge May has been involved with the Training Center for more than three decades, providing valuable insight and leadership on the Board of Directors for 22 years.
The evening's key note speech was given by longtime YATC supporter and board member Judge Elijah H. Williams of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Juvenile Delinquency Division.
"This is an exciting and important moment for our students, as they begin the next phase of their lives," said Routley. "But graduation is not the end of their YATC journey. Even years from now, our door will continue to be open to provide support when these young men need us. They are part of the family."
Congratulations to the Class of 2016!