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Oceanside Police surprises 4 high school students with $250 and tickets to prom

Oceanside PD surprises HS students
Posted at 11:39 AM, May 11, 2022

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Acts of Kindness were displaying in the North County on Wednesday. The Oceanside Police Department has devoted this year to spreading joy around the City of Oceanside, all thanks to a $20,000 donation from an Oceanside family.

Every month the department decides new surprises for the community. Last month, they gave strangers $100 to help with groceries. This month, they are focusing on high school students.

The department put out a call to action to the high schools within the district, to see if they had any students who might need a helping hand in going to their prom.

Four students were nominated after overcoming some tough challenges and Wednesday their hard work paid off.

RELATED: Oceanside Police Department gifts $100 to strangers in grocery store

“It’s so rewarding we’re really excited to be able to surprise these kids," said OPD Public Information Officer Jennifer Atenza.

She furthers, "These are students that our School Resource Officers have relationships with, they see day in and day out, and they know their journey throughout high school. And we know this is a milestone event for these kids."

The principal of Oceanside Academy tells one of the students named Kelsey, "Keep walking, one foot in front of the other."

Kelsey is camera shy, but the moment Officer Ryder gave her gift in a white envelope, she beamed with joy.

“You’re lying!" screamed Kelsey with joy. "Oh my gosh, thank you!”

Officer Ryder says Kelsey is outgoing, motivates others, involved in volunteer work, and has a smile that lights up a room.

“I just can’t believe it," laughs Kelsey. "I didn’t know this was going to happen. Thank you guys, thank you guys. I’m speechless!”

And then, there was Julian's surprise.

He thanked Atenza, and she repsonded, "We are excited for you.”

Julian was on probation and lived in a community that was surrounded by gang-related crime. He decided to turn it around.

When asked about his hard work, he joked, “I don’t really like bragging."

He holds a job while attending school and that hard work transitions into the classroom too. His teacher, says it's all paid off.

“Julian has been my student for a few years. And he has worked so hard. He has always been this smiley polite kid, but he's worked through his challenges and came home determined to make himself proud first, his family second and I like to think I come in third,” she said.

If he stays on course, Julian's teacher says there's a possibility he could graduate a year earlier. This extra help is just another reason for him to smile.

“Couldn’t have happened to a better kid," shares his teacher.

OPD will be giving each student $250 and help them pay for prom tickets, attire, and anything else they might need to make their day special.

Wednesday afternoon, the Oceanside Police Department surprised the other two students, and gave them the same royal treatment.

If you would like to nominate someone for a Random Act of Kindness, or learn more about Oceanside Police's year-long program, you can email jatenza@oceansideca.org.