At-Risk Youth Celebrate Commitment to Higher Education

Former campers from R.M. Pyles Boys Camp, a multi-year summer outdoor wilderness camp combined with year-round mentoring, last week celebrated academic milestones within higher education.

Modeled after the signing ceremonies used for athletes committing to colleges, Pyles held its second annual “Senior Signing Day,” in Long Beach on April 28, 2019.


Students were honored for their future academic success after graduation later this year:

  • Isaac Araujo is graduating from CSU, Channel Islands and is pursuing a career in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Edgar Castillo is graduating from Oxnard High School (Oxnard) and will attend Ventura College.

  • Koaltin Cornelius is graduating from Golden Valley High School (Bakersfield) and will attend Cuesta College.

  • Tejon Hayes is graduating from CSU, Dominguez Hills and is starting a fitness practice.

  • Jonathan Ramos is graduating from Ramona High School (Riverside) and will attend Riverside Community College.

  • Kyle Vance is graduating from San Diego State University (SDSU) and will continue the School Psychology program at SDSU for another 2 years to pursue his Education Specialist degree in School Psychology and graduate from this program in May of 2021 to become a full time school psychologist.

  • Oscar Velasco is graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and will work in the non-profit sector while obtaining a CA teaching credential.

“These young men came to Pyles when they were at a crossroads in their lives. They learned the value of hard work and their outstanding accomplishments are the fruit of their labor,” said Adam Bell, Executive Director of R.M. Pyles Boys Camp.


Since the camp’s inception in 1949, R.M. Pyles Boys Camp has served more than 27,000 California boys. Each camper has heart-wrenching stories of their struggles, such as living in neighborhoods with gang violence, attending low performing schools, and being exposed to substance abuse and domestic violence. Former campers have gone on to achieve numerous successes including becoming the first college graduate in their families, serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and returning to work at the camp as counselors.

Thank you to those of you who attended this event and supported the graduates!

View some photos of the event below: