Blessings Part One – Graduations

In light of the scandals in education and the high dropout rate  for Latinos, my family has many things for which to give thanks. It has been the second generation born on the mainland that has picked up the books and kicked butt all over the tri-state area. This year we have four graduations to celebrate, and we’re doing it up in style.

Kayla, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, is on her way to Georgia Tech for graduate school. She’s our little rocket scientist, and as quiet as she is, she rocks our world. She has to be little because she’s the only one that fits into the buggy at CMU’s annual competition.

Alyssa, our athlete, is a member of the Central Jersey softball championship team. When her team recently played the South Jersey team, she held her head up high and refused to allow hecklers, calling her the “S” word, to get to her. She’s graduating from Lawrence High and is on her way to Belmont University in Tennessee.

Saadia, our brain, is graduating from RC Ketcham and is on her way to Columbia University, with an impressive aid package. She’s had a year full of challenges, and has had to grow up very quickly, but if there is anyone I would bet on, it would be her.

Jacquelyn, is older than the other girls, and has overcome many obstacles on her way to beauty school graduation. The mother of two sons, her daughter is due in a couple of months, and once she recovers there is nothing that will stand in her path to success.

There are a few things that parents need to do for results like this. Encourage your child. Mentor your child. Tutor your child. Get involved in your child’s school activities. Talk to your child (even when they’re sucking their teeth). And above all, love your child (and show it).

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