Administrators from each of the participating schools — Agave, Cholla, Pueblo, Sahuaro, Sabino, Catalina, Palo Verde, Rincon, Tucson High and Project More — called the names of their graduates, and members of the audience cheered, sounded horns and applauded for their students.
The mood was definitely festive.
In all, about 120 students earned their diplomas. Most took the summer to finish up needed credits, and a few graduated early.
Yajaira Ceballos Carrillo from Pueblo Magnet High School, was the student speaker for the commencement. She told her fellow graduates that they should be proud of what they have achieved.
“It’s our time to shine, our time to walk across the stage and receive our diplomas,” she said. “We didn’t give up when we had so many chances to give up.”
She urged the students to continue working and continue striving: “Don’t forget to keep dreaming,” she said. “I believe the Class of 2015 can make change in the world.”
Erika Molina was one of the graduates from Agave. She is a prime example of determination and a desire to pursue her goals. Erika said she was relieved that she earned her diploma, and her big family — mom, dad, brothers, grandpa and more — couldn’t have been more proud.
At 20 years old, Erika said she was tired of working for low pay and knew she needed to earn her high school diploma to move forward with her life. She wants to be a pharmacist.
Dr. H.T. Sánchez, superintendent of Tucson Unified School District, encouraged the graduates to do what Erika plans to do: Keep learning.
He said the summer graduates are outstanding role models for working hard and persevering and that they should continue to pursue their education.
“That same level of effort and energy you put forward to get here tonight, you have that within you,” he said. “Don’t stop here. Don’t let this be your last graduation. I hope that you will continue to pursue study either in a trade, community college, university. I hope you continue to learn. In life, we never stop learning.”
Video: Tucson Unified School District Summer Commencement