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Upward Bound graduates listen to the guest speaker during ceremonies held July 16 in the Tate Auditorium.

Carrizo Springs and Crystal City graduates (l-r) Viviana Villastrigo, Joe Frank Navarro and Myra Aguilar.

Del Rio graduates (front, l-r) Jacqueline Casillas, Alvaro Aguilar, (back) Jerreca Leyva, Gustavo Hernandez and Yajaira Garcia.

Eagle Pass graduate Anele Bilski

Hondo and D'Hanis graduates (l-r) Samantha Mendoza and Elizabeth Lutz.

   2011 GRADUATES!


Lincoln Memorial visit

Recent graduates of the Upward Bound Program at SWTJC pose for a group picture in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The group toured various sites during their four-day stay in Washington, D.C.
Upward Bound
graduation held

A total of 35 recent high school graduates from across Southwest Texas were honored at SWTJC Uvalde on July 16 upon completion of their fourth and final year in U.S. Department of Educationís Upward Bound Program.

According to Upward Bound guidelines, the program is designed to help prepare low income/first generation college students for entry into higher education.

SWTJC President Dr. Ismael Sosa, Jr., welcomed the group and congratulated them on completing the program and beginning their college education.

"Congratulations on your hard work thus far and donít stop," Dr. Sosa said. "You are college students now. Set goals, whether itís a two-year associateís degree, a bachelorís degree or beyond, and work toward them. Higher education will make a big difference in the quality of your lives."

Following welcoming remarks by Dr. Sosa, Upward Bound class valedictorian Elizabeth Lutz of DíHanis High School and salutatorian Christopher S. Cruz of Uvalde High School addressed the gathering of program participants, family and friends.

Program director Albert Hernandez presented framed certificates of completion to program graduates. Graduates also received custom-made stoles embroidered with the Upward Bound logo.

Gracie Z. Luna, education specialist at SWTJC, was master of ceremonies and administrative assistant Angelica Uriegas also helped with the program.

Following their graduation from various area high schools in May, Upward Bound students lived on campus in Uvalde and attended first summer session classes earning college credit in art history and U.S. government.

Area high schools represented in the program, in addition to DíHanis and Uvalde, include Carrizo Springs, Cotulla, Crystal City, Del Rio, Dilley, Eagle Pass, Hondo, Natalia and Pearsall.

The four-year Upward Bound Program at SWTJC began in the summer of 2008. For the past three years participants have attended summer classes at SWTJC with intensive instruction in reading, writing and math aimed at helping them succeed in high school. Evening physical education classes were also part of the summer program.

Along with annual six-week summer sessions, participants also met on Saturdays during the regular school year for instruction and tutorials in reading, writing and math.

Students and their parents have conducted various fund-raisers over the past four years to cover expenses for a trip to Washington, D.C., following their graduation from the program.

The charter bus trip to the nationís capital began on July 17. While in the D.C. area, the group plans to visit Mt. Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Hill, the White House and the Lincoln, Jefferson and Vietnam memorials.

A visit to the office of Congressman Francisco Canseco is also on the groupís agenda. The group will arrive back in Uvalde on July 23.

Cotulla and Pearsall graduates (front, l-r) Shah Raja, Amber Salazar, Niki Ortegon, Mario Vasquez, (back) Sergio Mata, Jefferey Viesca, Daniel Chavana and Thomas Garcia.

Natalia graduates (l-r) Selena Bowman and Corina Albarado.

Uvalde graduates (front, l-r) Steven Guedea, Alejandro Davila, Jr., Misty Ramos, Maria Rodriguez, Juan Martinez III, (back) Gabriel Ramon, Justin Rangel, Joe Flores, Felix Sonora, Jr., Christopher S. Cruz.

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