Youth Connections: A high school diploma and hope

You dropped out of school, at 16. You may have had to, because you had a child and didn’t know what options were available for you. You may have had to work to help support your family with rent, or you didn’t realize how devastating your decision could be on the rest of your life.

The disadvantage for a young person ages 16-24 who doesn’t graduate from high school is well-studied. Youth who drop out of high school are four times more likely to be unemployed and 8 times more likely to be incarcerated. And every year in high schools across Sonoma County, approximately 18% of seniors do not graduate. 

Youth Connections is a program of CAP Sonoma that partners with local high schools and community agencies to help provide a High School Diploma Plus program focused on at-risk, resilient youth, ages 16-24 years old. Our students overcome incredible obstacles to be where they are today, and have inspiring journeys to tell about their pursuit towards a high school diploma. All our youth are at-risk or disadvantaged by their socio-economic status, and we give them not only the resources to complete their diploma, but the college and career mentoring, workforce development experience, and the life skills counseling necessary to take their next step in life with confidence.

“Youth Connections has not only helped me with my education, but they have also helped me look at myself and my life in a different way. The staff is truly amazing and they put our education first. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in this program, and I’m looking forward to graduating in June!”

– Denise Morales, YC Class of 2017

Please join us for our 2017 graduation ceremony held on June 17th at 11am, inside the Bertollini Bldg. at the Santa Rosa Junior College. There will be light refreshments and delectable finger foods donated by local eateries. If you have any questions, you want to RSVP for the graduation ceremony or want to get involved with Youth Connections, please contact me at or call me on my cell phone at 707-287-6698. Thank you for your interest, and let’s work together one high school diploma at a time!


Herman G. Hernandez

Program Manager

Youth Connections

A program of Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County