Many people find transitioning from eighth grade to high school to be challenging. However, this year’s John J. Neu Leadership Academy graduates are up to the task after completing an extensive leadership program designed to provide intervention and guidance in their journey into high school.

The program, named after esteemed former Torrance Police Chief John Neu, is run by the Torrance Police Department’s Juvenile Diversion Unit. Twenty local students participated in training courses focused on dealing with peer pressure, building healthy relationships, and promoting effective decision making. The course specifically targets graduating eighth grade students.

“Transitioning to high school is a critical time in a young person’s development,” said program coordinator Shannon Flannery with the Torrance Police Department. “We’ve created this program to provide real life skills and tools the students can take with them into high school and beyond.”

The students were selected based on their good standing in school and leadership potential. They celebrated completion of the program at an awards and graduation dinner at the Ken Miler Recreation Center in Torrance on June 6.

Community Relations Advisor Brandon Matson represented the Torrance Refinery, which provided a $10,000 donation to fund the program again, a tradition spanning many years.

“We appreciate our partnership with the Torrance Refining Company and their continued support,” said Flannery.

The Torrance Refinery congratulates the 2017-18 John J. Neu Leadership Academy graduates and wishes them many successes in their academic careers and in life’s journey.