Home » Hope & Help » #finishfirst well received at Freedom High School in Redding CA

#finishfirst well received at Freedom High School in Redding CA



On May 20, 2015 Leadership Redding’s class of 2014-2015 launched a half-day project called #finishfirst to mentor School Attendance Review Board (SARB) students (who are mostly 14-15 year olds) at Freedom High School in Redding.

Every year Leadership Redding class of 30 participants takes on a stewardship project based on needs in the Redding CA community that have been brought to their attention by various community leaders since last fall, but this is the first time the class has completed their project even before graduating.

The idea of #finishfirst is to motivate and inspire kids identified by the SARB in Shasta Union High School District to “get on track” and “stay on track” to finish high school first rather than dropping out.

Mentors talked about how they got into their current employment situation by connecting with their passions and purpose. By exploring options, including college and vocational alternatives it is hoped that some students will be the first in their family to go on to community college and then perhaps be the first in their family to finish at a four year college with a baccalaureate degree.

Presenters included Dan Haskins from Shasta College, Sheryl Martini from Institute of Technology, Shasta Builder’s Exchange, Faye Hall of Build IT Code and Mike Morgan of Morgan Designs.

Guy Malain, Principal of Freedom High School said ….

The Leadership Redding class of 30 organized into seven task forces: accountability; school liaison; curriculum/speakers; sponsors; recognition & PR; event logistics; and mentoring.

Jessica Whitlow served as team leader on the accountability task force with Matt Morgan the meeting facilitator and Christine Stokes and Mary Schrank, secretaries.

Katherine Reed, Mary Paul and Jennifer Saechao were on the the school liaison task force communicating with Freedom High leadership about the morning program and school guidelines.

Carie Palmer led a team responsible for recruiting speakers and orchestrating the program, with help from Christina McClenaghan, Samuel Llamas and Kristin Minugh.

Ken White, Rick Bonetti and Guangye Hu coordinated the event with media; set up a #finishfirst Facebook group and blog; took photos; and gave appropriate recognition.

Carla Barrett and Lisa Grimmett took care of event logistics.

Justin Babb, Haley Lindberg, Brittany Nelson and Amanda Hutchings worked on insuring continued mentorship for those students who expressed interest. Other class volunteers included Laura Dougan, Debbie DeCoito, Amanda Hutchings and Sandee Monroe.

Donations came from Blood Source, Maxwells, Belfor, Shasta Arts Council and 2014-2015 LR class members. T shirts, USB drives and other goodies were distributed to the students.

It is anticipated that the project will be sustainable and Leadership Redding alumni will participate in future years.