As we head into graduation season,
it’s a good time to reflect on how far our EE kids have
progressed and what your support has meant to the
success of the program and each of our participants.
In 2001, we started Exceeding
Expectations with a small group of kids who were just
surviving each day, rather than living with hope of a
future. They had no role models to show them what was
possible. They looked at those who graduated high school
and went to college as outliers.
Over the past 18 years EE kids were
given reason to hope and plan for their futures. We
maintain an ongoing roster of about 60 kids. Most are
still living in a tough environment where they face
serious challenges every day, but now they also know
they’re part of a program where there’s an expectation
that they will graduate high school and go on to further
education. Their role models are their EE team mates who
have gone before them:
4 college graduates, 2 of them now pursuing Master’s
10 currently in college
6 accepted to colleges to start their freshman year
4 distinguished US servicemen: Marines, Navy and two
1 small business owner
This transformation isn’t the
result of any magic. Rather it’s because we –you and I–
believed in these kids and their right to live a life of
EE’s Class of 2019 will start the
next phase of their education in the fall.
Andrew is headed to
Humboldt State University.
Ian is off to Arizona
State, in a special program that
will let him serve in the Army while going to school.
Michael will be
attending Valley College.
Moses is also attending
Nancy will be attending
University of Redlands.
Brother and EE team
member John, to her left, just finished a great Junior
year at Cal Baptist.
Israel is going to work
for a year before starting college.
Airlen will be entering
Cal State Monterey Bay
Eduardo will be
attending trade school in San Bernardino.
We also have two kids graduating
junior colleges who will be entering four-year schools
as juniors this fall.
Enrique is transferring
to Cal State San Bernardino, where
his sister and EE team mate Ana is already a student.
Vianey is also on her
way to Cal State San Bernardino.
A very special moment for EE came
at another June graduation. Nik Keller, a charter member
of EE and our first college graduate (UCSD 2013), was
the guest speaker for this year’s graduating class at
Cypress Elementary, the school in San Bernardino where
Exceeding Expectations started in 2001. He spoke from
his heart about the possibilities these kids have, using
himself as living proof.
On the athletic side, EE
participated in the PossAbilities Triathlon and 5K in
Loma Linda, one of our favorite events of the year,
where the kids race alongside challenged athletes. There
were plenty of podium performances, but the highlight of
the day was a going-away party for Nik and his fiancé,
Ashley, who are moving to San Diego in connection with a
great job opportunity. Both will continue to be strong
EE supporters, but will be doing it from afar for a
A collage of photos
showed Nik through the years with EE
Making sure the kids
understand that Nik
is an example of what they all can aspire to be.
Many of you have watched our kids
grow over the years. I know it’s as gratifying to you as
it is to us to see them set goals and focus on taking
advantage of opportunities that will change their lives
and the lives of their families.
Our kids, whether they’re in
elementary school or college, understand the Exceeding
Expectations program. They commit to working hard and
excelling and we commit to removing obstacles that stand
in their way. They also understand very well that
Exceeding Expectations is a family that includes
volunteers and financial supporters, all of whom believe
in them and have high expectations for them.
Thank you so much for being a part
of this rewarding endeavor.