June 7, 2012
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Bob Mason

Bob Mason

LeRoy Haynes Center Board member Bob Mason, owner of R.H. Mason Insurance Managers in Claremont, told the eight graduating seniors in the Haynes Education Center Class of 2012 today to “never stop learning, learn every day.”  “Always reach for your goals and reach for your dreams,” he added.  Mason, who like many of the kids at the LeRoy Haynes Center was on his own at the age of 18, started his career in the insurance industry after moving to Los Angeles with $400 in his pocket and taking a room at a downtown hotel for $17 a night.  He started working in the mail room of an insurance company and worked his way up to president of the company.  “Like me, you have been given a second chance,” he told the graduates.
Former Board member Beverly Lee said it is the graduation ceremony each year that inspires her.  “This is probably the most touching and meaningful event that I do,” she said, adding that it shows what the kids have gone through.
LeRoy Haynes Center teacher Ryan Olivas, named this year’s “La Verne Teacher of the Year” by the La Verne Chamber of Commerce, told the students receiving their high school diplomas that their senior year included everything from hiking in the canyons to swimming at the beach and even sitting in on a class at USC.  But on their graduation day, “this is a time of celebration,” he said, “of a significant milestone in your life.”
“This is only the beginning of the rest of your life,” Olivas said.  “From here on out, you are the master of your own destiny.”
La Verne Mayor Pro Tem Robin Carder and City Councilmember Charlie A. Rosales both were on hand to congratulate the graduates.
“These students have already overcome significant challenges in their young lives and, by completing their high school education, have made a statement about their commitment to succeeding in life,” said LeRoy Haynes Center President and CEO Dan Maydeck.  “We are extremely proud of each of these students.”

Ryan Olivas, Teacher of the Year

Ryan Olivas, Teacher of the Year

The graduates received scholarships made possible by donations from Mason, Lee and an anonymous donor.
About LeRoy Haynes Center

The LeRoy Haynes Center provides specialized treatment and educational services to children with special needs relating to emotional development, autism, Asperger’s Disorder, learning disabilities, neglect and abandonment.

The Haynes Education Center, a non-public school founded in 1989 as a companion to the group home facility on campus, initially provided schooling to the children of what was formerly LeRoy

Boys Home. It has grown to serve not only the children who live on campus but the community as a whole, accepting children (boys and girls) from 14 school districts throughout Southern California.

Credentialed teachers working in a highly structured environment address curriculum as well as learning disabilities including autism, emotional challenges and developmental disabilities.

The entire facility serves 350 to 400 children annually through its four basic programs – therapeutic residential treatment, transitional housing, Haynes Education Center and mental health.

For more information, contact the LeRoy Haynes Center at 233 West Baseline Road, La Verne, CA 91750, (909) 593-2581, or visit the web site at

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