Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2016

Contact Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or
(cell) 402-450-7318 or russ.reno@nebraska.gov


Six YRTC-Geneva Youth Earn High School Diplomas

Geneva – Six young women graduated today (May 16) with their high school diplomas in hand at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva, said Dan Scarborough, facility administrator.

“They all worked very hard to complete schooling and follow their treatment program,” he said. “Their success is attributed to their hard work, and the support of their parents, YRTC staff, their peers, Office of Probation as well as the people of Geneva, who also play an important role in their lives.”

The six graduates were joined by family and friends, YRTC and Office of Probation staff, the YRTC’s Community Advisory Board and teachers for the ceremony and reception.

They graduated from Geneva North High School, an on-campus special purpose school accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education. The school operates year-round and youth attend classes daily. 
“These young women are very proud of their accomplishment and they should be,” said Scarborough.  “Their graduation shows they are serious about pursuing a path in life that contributes to society.” 

The spring graduating class includes youths from Garfield, Buffalo, Lancaster, Gage, and Douglas counties. Four are 18 years old and two are 17.

They commented on earning their high school diplomas:
  • “I’ve overcome my past, and I want to make something of myself. I am going to be the first of my biological family to graduate. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment that only I had control over.”
  • “I’m the only one that decides if I want to be successful or if I want to be lazy. I determine my future.”
  • “Staff helped me by encouraging me to keep going and never giving me the choice to give up. That was something I needed that I didn’t have at home.”
YRTC staff praised the graduates:
  • “This group of graduates has worked very hard,” said Amanda Meade, vocational counselor. “They have had to really extend themselves to meet the requirements of graduation.”
  •  “They have all faced significant challenges to reach this point,” said Delores Hartman, teacher. “Earning the credits to graduate requires a certain level of stability and commitment. As in any group, some have worked harder and achieved more than others, but all have used their experience at YRTC as an opportunity to achieve a personal academic goal.”

The graduates look forward to continuing their education. Their ambitions include becoming cosmetologists, social worker, dentist, clinical or neurological psychologist and continuing post-secondary schooling.

While completing their high school studies was the final hurdle for two young women before leaving the YRTC, the other four will be involved in on-campus work, ongoing treatment, CPR and first aid certification, and lessons on nutrition, budgeting, and wellness.

Besides taking classes, the YRTC youth also participate in a number of community service projects, including assisting with Geneva’s July 4th youth activities, working at the local movie theater, providing manicures for nursing home residents, refereeing youth soccer, volunteering at York’s adopt-a-pet program, helping at a homeless shelter and other activities.

Youth are placed at the YRTC through a court order because they have committed an offense and have not been successful in a community placement.  In addition to educational services, youth at the YRTC receive therapy and treatment services, giving them the opportunity to become law-abiding citizens. Credits earned by students at Geneva North are transferable to Nebraska schools once the youth is released from the facility.

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