Olympic Continuation High School teacher Skip Weinstock has been chosen as a Hometown Hero because of his dedication to working with students who have struggled in life. He cofounded the campus' Service Learning Program, which places students in schools, camps, hospitals and other nonprofit agencies, where they learn life skills.
Here is what some of Weinstock's students had to say about their teacher, and the difference he has made in their lives:
MARIA OCHOA, 17, CONCORD:
"My sister was here seven years ago with no credits and she graduated in two years, and Skip helped. She did Service Learning. He helped me get my electives. I was a camp counselor. He was giving me credit in other classes because I wrote two essays at camp."
CHRIS PEREZ, 17, BAY POINT:
"Skip told me, 'I have to talk to you about a job.' Being in Service Learning, it's like being a tutor. It's like a job. As a camp counselor, you're with the kids 24/7. It teaches us to be leaders."
CHRISTINA REYES, 18, CONCORD:
"He does respect us. Mostly, you can tell he cares. Most of us feel comfortable talking to him, because he's always there. Every time you need him, there's Skip!"
COOKIEEY ROPATI, 17, PITTSBURG:
"Skip is very flexible. He makes sure everyone's in school. He is a great motivator. I was in Service Learning in a hospital and I never knew what I wanted to do in life 'til Skip gave me that opportunity. I want to be a registered nurse and maybe become an officer in the Navy."
"Never have I seen Skip give a student a cold shoulder because they cussed him out. He knows they have other things going on in their lives."
"No matter where you'll go, you'll never find another Skip to come and tell you: 'Do you need help?' or answer questions. He's just a good man. He knows how to deal with kids and I respect him a lot."
RUTH ZETINA, 17, CONCORD:
He's open to listening at anytime. Most of us come here thinking there's no solution. He helps us figure out the solution."
" ... When I entered (Olympic), I thought there was no hope, and that was haunting me. He shows us he wants us to succeed no matter what. I think his program has helped us succeed in what we want and (to) not look back. I've seen some kids who have been in jail and they see Skip and they have a different outlook. I can definitely say Skip is a great impact in people's lives."