Life Skills awards diplomas

Life Skills serves 16- to-22-year-olds who dropped out or may drop out of school.

YOUNGSTOWN — Twenty-four students, who had dropped out of high school or were in danger of dropping out, instead now have their high school diplomas.

They enrolled at the Life Skills Center of Youngstown charter school on Market Street and graduated in a ceremony held Friday at Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University.

Life Skills Centers are alternative education charter schools accommodating students ages 16 to 22 who have dropped out, or are at risk of dropping out of from high school.

The school focuses on assisting students who are seeking alternatives to traditional public schools.

Teens and young adults grappling with poverty, incarceration, abuse and other issues, as well as those seeking a way to get ahead in their education, have all found a home at Life Skills Center Youngstown, according to a statement issued by the school.

Life Skills Center graduations occur twice a year, once in January and once in June. Since its conception in 1999, Life Skills Centers have helped more than 8,900 students earn a high school diploma in Ohio, Florida, Michigan and Colorado.

The graduates are: Sara Rutushin of Austintown; Tabatha Cool, Paul Mallin, Douglas Schneider and James Vranches of Boardman; Domonique Boykin, Matthew Clark, Brittany Gardner, Monique Hubbert, Eric Mansfield, Shene’ McDowell, Pamela Renda, Lola Richey, Raul Sandino, Valerie Sebastian, Jasmine Smith, Pamela Stanford, Kaelyn Swegan, LaDonna Taylor, Tamrisha Teague, Shaleda Whitted, Ernest Willis and Melanie Womer, all of Youngstown; and Cierra Berry of Detroit, Mich.