Building Skills Transforming Lives


Congratulations Class of 2022!

Friday, June 10, 2022 - 3:15pm

Salinas, CA -- Enrique "Ricky" Ruiz, Auto/Diesel Repair Student, was one of  22 students from the 2022 graduating class who were awarded High School Diplomas from Rancho Cielo Youth Campus in partnership with John Muir Charter School on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. The Commencement ceremony was held in Rancho Cielo's Sally Hughes Church Amphitheater. Rancho Cielo's Vocational Training Programs are high-skill career technical programs for Monterey County students such as Ricky who seek a Vocational Training Certificate as they earn their high school education.

Ricky spoke to the graduating class during the ceremony and said, "2022 Graduates, I challenge you to build your goals throughout life that lead to happiness and prosperity. You are prepared as much as anyone can be!". Ricky also shared his plans for the future, "The Rancho Cielo Auto/Diesel Mechanics program has molded me into a successful young professional, and I will continue my education by going to Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in September to become a Diesel Tech."

In his speech, Chris Devers, Rancho Cielo's CEO, stated, "Our programs tie core academic instruction into vocational training, which requires another layer of planning, collaboration, and delivery of service to the already difficult task of educating our young people in a meaningful and relevant way." He additionally addressed graduates with the following words of encouragement "Take this accomplishment on earning your high school diploma and certifications and to go forward with strength in the world, knowing you can achieve anything you put your mind to and work hard at."

The evening was full of emotions and significant moments. We were fortunate to have Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig as the event’s keynote speaker, and Rancho Cielo´s Founder John Phillips delivered a wonderful speech highlighting Rancho Cielo’s history. A heart warming moment by Judge Stephanie Hulsey, who sang the National Anthem. The night ended beautifully with the conferral of the High School Diplomas to the class of 2022 by RJ Guess, CEO of John Muir Charter School.

Special guests included:

  • Supervisor John Phillips, Founder of Rancho Cielo
  • Susan Black, Pinnacle Bank’s CEO and Founder and Chair of Rancho Cielo’s Board of Directors
  • The Honorable Judge Sam Lavorato, Monterey County Superior Court, Juvenile Court
  • RJ Guess, CEO of John Muir Charter School
  • Dawn McConnell, COO of John Muir Charter School
  • Kimbley Craig, Keynote Speaker, Mayor of Salinas & CEO of Monterey Co. Business Council
  • Todd Keating, Chief of Monterey County Probation
  • Jose Ramirez, Deputy Probation Chief, Monterey County Dept of Probation
  • Greg Glazzard, Juvenile Field Director,  Monterey County Dept of Probation
  • Judge Stephanie Hulsey
  • Scholarships Awarded

Scholarship Awards

This year’s graduating class earned more than $23,000 in merit-based aid, including the American Institute of Wine & Food and Philip & Shirley Ladd of The Filippi Foundation Scholarship, The Anthony Narigi Memorial Scholarship, the American Culinary Federation Scholarship, Hartnell Foundation Scholarships, the Restorative Justice Project Scholarship, and Rancho Cielo Scholarship Awards. A total of 14 graduates from all Rancho Cielo programs received a scholarship award valued from $1,000 to $3,500 to support their plans to continue their post-secondary education.

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