Hope. Opportunity. Destiny.


Buzz words for a self-help program? A religious mantra? Not exactly. Students in a University of La Verne master's degree marketing class are hoping to find just the right words to promote something not always viewed as inspirational a night high school alternative program.


Last Thursday night, members of instructor Steve Fialho's "Strategic Marketing" class convened at Sunset Point, a fledgling program located on the Mojave High School campus in Hesperia. While high school students were putting their scholastic lives back in order in nearby classrooms, the small group interviewed school principal Olga Fisher, Mojave High principal Nate Lambdin and program catalyst Lee Rogers, a Hesperia Unified School District board member about the school's accomplishments and plans.


Just in its second school year, the Sunset Point program is continually attracting new students with no end in sight.


"It literally started with one student," Lambdin said. "Today we have more than 100 students."


In fact, the school's student population began with 75 students ages 16 through 20 last August and has grown to 112 by the beginning of this week.


"This program is getting bigger because it's something that has not been offered every before up here," Roger said.


And with new students, the district benefits by receiving additional Average Daily Attendance money from the state. And that means Sunset Point can grow as needed.


"If we had 30 students start tomorrow we'd have a teacher here for them," Rogers said.


The program is open to students who live in Hesperia, but others outside the city are also inquiring about enrollment. Sunset Point students receive instruction in an intimate setting from teachers specially trained to guide those who have fallen through the cracks.


"Our teachers are very encouraging," Fisher said. "'We're so glad to have you,' they tell the students at orientation."


The night classes enable young adults who work, have children or care for others during the day to pursue a high school diploma.


"For some it's a second or third chance at a diploma," Lambdin said.


Anthony Rodriguez, former Sultana High student who enrolled in Sunset Point last year, was estatic over his recent graduation.


"Great!" Rodriguez said. "I'm done. Now I can start college and get a job. It's the first step of my life."


When asked how he did it, Rodriguez said, "I worked my [butt] off."


The University of La Verne project figures to be a big boost for the new program.


"We are just so fortunate that they are doing this for us," Rogers said about Fiahlo's students. "Wow!"


The marketing project, which will be completed later in several months, will account for 30 percent of each University of La Verne student's course grade, he said.


When asked what by the marketing class students what he sees in terms of promotional tools, Lambdin said he sees a billboard that shouts a message of hope: "No obstacle is to big to overcome.


"When a student finally believes they're gonna make it, they're gonna make it," Lambdin said.