Document Type

Undergraduate Student Scholarship

Publication Date



Caroline Hanssen

Course Number

ENGL 3200

Course Name

Advanced Writing and Research


When you enter the grounds of Marin County Community School (MCCS), you see security patrolling the premises. The students may be on probation, house arrest, or have general behavior issues deemed unfit for regular public school. High-risk youth in Marin County generally are referred to MCCS, an alternative education facility, in hopes of providing the student a second chance to earn a high school diploma and a better future. MCCS, located in San Rafael, California provides an educational program geared towards intensive instruction in English/Language Arts and Mathematics with a focus on developing pro-social skills through the integration of services that address an array of issues such as mental health, aggression, substance abuse, and occupational programs. MCCS partners with many social behavior programs in order to establish a better learning environment.

Education for all is a pressing issue in Marin County. When my English professor, Caroline Hanssen, notified me she would be teaching a service-learning course in the upcoming spring 2013 semester pertaining to this ideal, I eagerly signed up. This incredible opportunity that Dominican University of California presented me incorporated relevant classroom curricula about education inequity, college access, and disadvantaged youth with the chance to mentor at an alternative education school in order to learn first-hand about all these problems in today’s education system. By establishing the criteria and expectations in the classroom, students can enter adulthood better educated and socially versed to uphold community well being


Published as:

De Quattro, S. (2013). Building up a community by empowering disadvantaged youth. Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research, 2.