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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Alums Offer Advice During Pathways Career Day

March 31, 2017

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources

DIAMOND BAR, CA--About two dozen Diamond Bar High alumni returned to offer sage life advice during a career day held on March 24.The event was sponsored by the Pathways Communication Academy, a small learning community that serves about 140 sophomores, juniors, and seniors on campus.

 The alums were eager to share their personal experience when peppered with questions from the teens. 

“We’ve been talking about life after high school and how career affects lifestyle this morning,” shared Catherine Larson, Class of 2000, during a break between the six rotating sessions.

Tony Sanchez, Class of 2001, said he jumped at the chance to give back to the kids.

“If I can offer some kind of direction to anybody today, I thought it would be worth it.”

The grads talked freely about the best and worst parts of their jobs, employment requirements, as well as opportunities in their chosen fields.

“There’s a position from everything from retail to engineering and advertising,” said Giancarlos Munoz, an Apple corporate account manager from the Class of 2005.

“The worst thing is there are no weekends off!” he added.

“The best part is working with students on the spectrum and teaching them skills that will improve their life,” shared Class of 2001 member Carolina Perez, a WVUSD program specialist who oversees special education student services.

Other alums addressed the importance of obtaining a college degree in landing a good job.

“Our field requires a bachelor’s degree,” said Angels Baseball marketing manager Vanessa Vega.

“I would also recommend internships and becoming an expert in something – like marketing, a specialized technology, or even a hobby.”

 They also touched on the topic of money management after high school.

“Be prepared to go into a world that’s new to you,” offered Amtrak reservation sales agent Camille Quinones who shared that union dues and health insurance can take a big bite out of a paycheck.

“Save your money as much as you can.”

“Budgeting is a lifelong skill,” added Perez who warned students to steer clear of credit card debt.

“Be smart with your money!”

The Pathways Communications Academy, now in its 18th year, is a school within-a-school model offering college prep courses and common core curriculum infused with a technical education focus. 

One goal of the program is to prepare students for their postsecondary education. 

“The alumni career day is an opportunity for former students to share the stories of their past and their current journey with our high school students,” said teacher Eleanor Boruah.

“It’s a genuine experience for our students to know it’s a process, and the process started somewhere.”

“It was refreshing, to see former students who struggled during high school and then achieved success,” said junior Melanie Meza. 

“It was interesting to see how these alumni were in our situation and to see where they are now. Some of the teachers we have now inspired them to pursue their careers!” added classmate Kaylie Yee. 


Diamond Bar High Pathways Communication Academy alumni return to offer advice during career day. 

DBHS Pathways Communication Academy alumni and original director Kim Cleveland return for career day.