Highlighting our January Graduates

As the first semester of this academic year comes to a close, many students find themselves ready to graduate. The final credits have been earned, the career pathways checklist has been completed, and the computer demonstration assignments have been all finished. Highlighted here are five of the eleven graduates, their plans for life after Cloud & Fire, and their favorite memories of their time here with us.

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Alan Lima

After finishing his time at Cloud & Fire, Alan hopes to start a job in manufacturing or begin training to become a firefighter. Eventually, he would like to study at LA Valley College where he would major in biotechnology.

Alan says the highlight of his experience here were all of the amazing teachers. He couldn’t even find words to describe all they had done for him during his time at Cloud & Fire, and he will definitely miss them more than any other part of the school.

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Raven Sheth

Raven is very interested in pursuing the BankWorks program provided by Jewish Vocational Services, a program in which they train students to begin careers in banking. She is also interested in beginning the manufacturing program at LA Valley College. 

She is most thankful for the friends she made when she first arrived at Cloud & Fire, individuals that have really made the whole experience for her.

Read more about the BankWorks program here.

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Michael Cortez

Michael may not be leaving Cloud & Fire for very long, as he hopes to come serve here as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America)! Before that happens, however, he will be applying to study at LA Valley College or Pierce College and working with his family business. He also hopes to be a regular member of the new College Club.

When he arrived at Cloud & Fire, Michael thought he would simply be in and out with his high school diploma in hand. He has gained much more than that during his time here: a whole new group of friends and mentors that he now considers family.

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Alice Chavez

Alice will be applying to LA Valley college to take classes that will start her on the path to becoming a registered nurse. She will continue working at The Goodwill Store of Sherman Oaks, a job she was hired for when recruiters came to interview Career and College Pathways students. While she is working, Alice will also be seeking out opportunities to gain more experience in the nursing field.

She will remember all the teachers and staff fondly, thankful for the amount of time and effort they put towards helping her accomplish her goals.

Read more about our Goodwill interview day here.

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Alejandro Saucedo

After graduation, Alejandro will continue working at his job at The Goodwill Store in Sherman Oaks while taking classes at LA Valley College. He has already registered for a full course load, consisting of classes in manufacturing, art, geography, and sociology.  

For Alejandro, camp was definitely a highlight of his time at Cloud & Fire. As an urban youth, he loved the experience of being out in the fresh air, taking in all the beautiful aspects of nature while feeling hopeful about his own bright future. It was an amazing opportunity that only Cloud & Fire could have provided.


The teachers and staff of Cloud & Fire will miss all of the graduates dearly, but know there are amazing things in store for each of them. Congratulations, January graduates!

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A Day On, Not a Day Off

img_1216On Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service 2017, one of the Cloud & Fire AmeriCorps VISTAs, Courtney, spent her holiday as “a day on, not a day off.” She participated in two service projects in Los Angeles. First, she spent her morning at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital packing snack bags for homeless youth who come to the hospital for treatment (see picture on the left). Then, Courtney spent the afternoon south of Downtown Los Angeles at Dorsey High School with 1,500 other AmeriCorps members at a project put on by LA Works. The volunteers fanned out around the school to do many enhancement and upkeep projects to help make the students proud of their school again. Courtney gladly spread out mulch in the planters around the area of the campus where the students eat lunch. She reports, “It was great to work with my hands and maneuver the soil. Living in a very urban community, I rarely get to work with the earth. It was a blessing to get back to nature in such a practical way.”

Even after hard labor and being out in the sun, Courtney felt energized and empowered having served her greater Los Angeles community. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous question: “What are you doing for others?” was easily answered that day.