Academy path leads to graduation for San Benito students - Valley Morning Star : Local News

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Academy path leads to graduation for San Benito students

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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 8:46 pm

SAN BENITO — Purple and gold balloons filled a cafeteria where parents and friends eagerly clutched flowers and cards as they waited for the music to play. 

Soon, one by one, graduates from the Gateway to Graduation Academy walked out dressed in their caps and gowns, some of them wearing medals around their neck.

The Gateway to Graduation Academy is a program that helps keep students at risk of dropping out on the path to graduation and eventually college.

More than 50 students were recognized Friday during the graduation, 46 who had graduated with distinguished honors.

Bunches of colorful balloons were tied together on either side of the stage with students’ names written on them.

Principal Henry Sanchez said the theme of the graduation was based on the popular Pixar film “Up.”

“Adventure is out there and they’re just beginning their adventure,” Sanchez said, quoting the movie.

As students walked across the stage to receive their diploma, parents and friends cheered and clapped.

“It was difficult,” Sanchez said.

Whether it was following students on Facebook, calling home or showing up at a student’s doorstep, Sanchez said he was making sure his students earned their diploma.

“We do what it takes in San Benito,” Sanchez said. “We are the gold standard.”

Behind the cafeteria, Sanchez had set up booths for various local colleges and organizations for students to visit.

Between the photo booth and exit doors, students had the opportunity to meet with representatives from TSTC, UCAS, South Texas College and other higher education programs.

Be it college or joining the military, the students are going to advance their lives, Sanchez said.

Graduate Rosalia Davila has been taking college courses and hopes to continue her education and begin a career in the medical field.

“I feel good and proud of myself,” Davila said. “I came a long way.”

Christina Garcia also hopes to enter the medical field and wants to study to be a registered nurse.

“I’m very excited and I’m happy to take on what’s next,” Garcia said.

Although they have already received their diplomas, graduates will have the opportunity to walk across the stage again in June with the San Benito High School seniors.

Mission Statement

The mission of Gateway to Graduation Academy is to provide every student with the academic skills and confidence in a nurturing environment to become graduates and lifelong learners in an ever changing society.

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