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PASS Program

PASS Program

PASS AmeriCorps

PASS AmeriCorps

San Diego County Office of Education

San Diego County Office of Education

About PASS (Promoting Achievement and Student Success)

About the PASS AmeriCorps program… An AmeriCorps PASS Mentor will meet with participating students to provide one-on-one and/or small group mentoring sessions to build positive relationships, provide academic tutoring and youth development activities so students can become connected to school and academic achievement.  Students will also engage in school leadership, community volunteer opportunities, and receive youth development and prevention/intervention curriculum lessons as outlined in our program.


This program works with Vista High School and the San Diego County Office of Education. The PASS program is in multiple schools and districts throughout San Diego county. 

PASS Program

May Update

We have reached the school year’s final stretch! On May 4th Vista High School hosted a blood drive for which we saw great turnout – both among staff and students.  May 6th was Join Hands Day. To celebrate, we invited 8th graders from Rancho Minerva Middle School and VIDA to write questions they may have about high school.  Our high school students are then writing responses that will be returned to the middle schoolers by the end of the month. We appreciate the thoughtfulness our students have put into their advice! May 13th was VHS’s prom held at Carlsbad Flower Fields which proved to be, by all accounts a big success.  On May 29th students will be given the day off as we celebrate Memorial Day. Once we return from that final holiday, students will only have seven days of school left! We are all looking forward to running across that finish line!

May Service Projects

April Update

The year is quickly winding down here at Vista High School! This month started off with a trip for our Sophomores to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The trip was a great opportunity for our students to learn about the various human rights challenges facing our global community. April’s service project was creating bird feeders out of recycled materials. The project was a celebration of both Earth Day and Global Youth Service Day, which fell on April 21st. On Earth Day, April 22nd, we participated in the Creek to Bay Clean-up, put on by I Love a Clean San Diego, picking up trash in the neighborhood surrounding Vista High School. To finish off the month, we will be recognizing National Volunteer Week from April 24-29.  April 14 was the end of the second marking period of the second semester marking the last progress report before final grades come out at the end of the school year, so we are working with students to finish this school year out strong!

April Service Projects

March Update

March has been an eventful month at Vista High School. The month kicked off with the VHS Job Fair, with 50 businesses from the community represented. The fair was an opportunity for our students to get connected to part time jobs and potential future careers.  On March 5th-11th we celebrated AmeriCorps Week with a color-by-number activity our students enjoyed helping us complete.  VHS’s 8th grade showcase was hosted on March 15th, for incoming freshmen and their families.  The showcase featured presentations from several departments, including hands on experiments conducted by some of our science teachers.  In honor of Cesar Chavez day, celebrated on March 31st, we asked students to create small drawings they felt encouraged people to work together. We will hang those pictures in a collage to honor the labor organizer that did so much for working class Latinos. We are ending the month with Spring Break, eagerly awaited by both staff and students.  

March Service Projects

February Update

The month of February proved to be a productive and positive month here at Vista High School. It started off with Breaking Down the Walls, a program designed to engage students in creating a supportive campus climate.  As part of the program, students participated in rigorous day-long workshops intended to build a common sense of purpose and identity. Students also had the opportunity to reach out to students from diverse social groups. Thank you to Mr. Hanlon for organizing this event. There were over 800 students in attendance and we were happy to help as facilitators!

February 12th-18th was also Random Acts of Kindness week. To celebrate, students wrote notes of appreciation to teachers and staff. Instead of the acts of kindness being random, we found value in having the students intentionally selecting a teacher or staff member they have found to be a positive influence in their lives. 

February Service Projects

January Update

This month Vista High and PASS students have been working on a Martin Luther King Jr. service project. MLK Jr. is widely known as one of the most influential civil rights activist, who wanted equality for all people, but he also was a huge advocate for individuals helping out in their community. He asked the question “what are you doing for others?” For our service project we asked students in what ways they could help out in their community, whether it was through volunteering, donating, etc.  They have helped us come up with a fantastic list which we will be displaying in the school’s central quad.


This month also marked the beginning of our very first girls group! The group serves to offer a small group of young women the space to discuss topics they find relevant to them as female students. We also hope the group will foster new friendships and encourage solidarity amongst one another. 

January Service Projects

November Update

Greetings, Vista High School

Holiday season has finally arrived! November 11th was Veterans Day (and a day off from school for students!). To commemorate the holiday, students were invited to write notes of gratitude (photos below) to veterans in San Diego. While making the cards, students reflected on the sacrifices made by those who have served in the military. Thank you to all the students who participated! On November 9th, we were lucky enough to attend Safe School Ambassadors (photo below), an all-day anti-bullying training. Students learned a variety of practical ways to positively and safely intervene in instances of bullying they might encounter on campus. A big thank-you to Mr. Hanlon for putting the event together and to those students who spent their day learning how to be positive leaders at Vista High School.  We appreciate all that you do!

Only three weeks left until Finals and Winter Break! 

November Service Projects

October Update

October has been an eventful month for VHS and PASS students. Red Ribbon Week (drug free/ drug awareness) was from October 23-31. Several of the PASS Students were invited to see guest speaker William Perno, who is a retired Deputy, discuss the dangers of Spice (synthetic marijuana). The students learned a lot from his presentation and are appreciative of his visit.

PASS Service project students had the choice of either writing a pledge, a word of advice, or their natural high (a hobby/activity that makes them feel good) on a red ribbon. The red ribbons were then assembled to form a chain link, which was sent to Rancho Minerva Middle School. Check out the pictures below and online on the VHS PASS page through the VHS website. Over 400 students helped out with the project! Thank you to the teachers and staff who took the time to present this project to their students (Nurse Patti, Ms. Armstrong, Mr. Hanlon, Mr. Zendejas, Ms. Malauulu, Ms. Young, Ms. Contreras, and Ms. Harris-Hirschorn). Students had a great time putting together the chain link and are looking forward to receiving one back from RMMS.

October Service Projects

PASS Mentor Introductions

Greetings, Panthers!

It is so great to be back on the Vista High Campus!


A little bit about me... This is my second year serving with the PASS AmeriCorps Program at VHS. In Spring 2015 I graduated from San Diego State University and earned a BS in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Psychology. Although I love working with students in a school setting I eventually would like to work with youth in detention centers.

Some activities I enjoy are hiking, surfing, playing sports and spending time at the beach. I am also a huge Aztecs fan and love watching the basketball games!

It is an honor to be a part of a school community that cares so much about the students and their education. I am looking forward to another awesome year with VHS staff and students. 


Please feel free to stop by and say “Hi!” in room T2!


Ms. Skyler, PASS AmeriCorps Mentor


Hello, Vista Panthers!

I am so excited to be here with all of you.


About me…This is my first year serving as a PASS AmeriCorps Mentor and I couldn’t be happier to be serving at VHS.  I am originally from Michigan, but moved to San Diego in August. Discovering all the awesome things about this beautiful state has been such a treat! In the Spring of 2015 I graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology. Eventually I’d like to use my degree to pursue a career in social work, with the goal of working with youth in schools. I enjoy running, reading, travelling and I am always up for a game of soccer.

This is going to be a great year and I look forward to working with such a warm and welcoming scholastic community!


Please come by to see us out in room T2!


Ms. Morse, PASS AmeriCorps Mentor 

September PASS Service Projects

PASS Memories from 2015/16 School Year

PASS Memories from 2014/15 school year

Yellow Ribbon Youth Suicide Prevention

Look around campus for our Yellow Ribbons. You will find the suicide hotline ( 800-273-TALK (8255) ) as well as encouraging thoughts, questions, and concerns from your fellow students in the PASS program. 


"Ask your friends for help"

"Somebody out there loves you"


"Things will get better" 


Miss Skyler, PASS AmeriCorps Mentor

Miss Skyler, PASS AmeriCorps Mentor
Vanderhye, Skyler

Miss Morse, PASS AmeriCorps Mentor

Miss Morse, PASS AmeriCorps Mentor

Morse, Brighid

PASS Student of the Month

Community Service in Vista


Open to all


The PASS program would like to inform you of community service events happening. Please extend these opportunities to your students, and remind them they can get community service hours while doing something great for their own community!!!