:: Migrant Program

2008 Migrant Recognition Ceremony

Exemplary Migrant Students Recognized

March 31, 2008

On March 31, 2008, the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program hosted the 21st annual Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony in the Ballroom of the Texas Union located in the heart of The University of Texas at Austin campus. Migrant students, parents, and educators from high schools throughout the state attended the ceremony where we honored 38 exemplary migrant students who have completed the program’s distance learning courses and recognized two Students of the Year. The two Students of the Year and three other exemplary migrant students each received a $2,000 college scholarship from the Exxon Mobil Corporation.

The ceremony theme focused on the César Chávez statue that was unveiled on The University of Texas at Austin campus on October 9, 2007. The statue is an ideal symbol for migrant students since César Chávez devoted his life to improving the living conditions of farm workers. The presence of the statue on The University of Texas at Austin campus conveys the message that migrant students belong on a college campus. In her welcoming remarks for the event, Judy C. Ashcroft, dean of Continuing and Innovative Education, encouraged students to continue their education beyond high school and invited them to attend The University of Texas at Austin. Margarita M. Arellano, senior associate dean of students and project director for the César Chávez statue unveiling, gave the keynote address.

Prior to the ceremony, students participated in a panel discussion to learn about college life from former migrant students who participated in our program and currently attend The University of Texas at Austin.

Exemplary Migrant Student sporting medal stands with fellow migrant students while being honored

The event began with a luncheon and entertainment provided by the UT Ballet Folklórico. Dr. Felipe Alanis, associate dean of Continuing Education and K-16 Education, presided at the ceremony. After revealing the names of the Students of the Year, we distributed the 2008 Exemplary Migrant Students publication that profiles the achievements of 38 exemplary students and two Students of the Year and features the César Chávez statue on its cover. The finale of the ceremony was a presentation of college scholarship checks to the two 2008 Students of the Year and three additional exemplary migrant students by Rosendo Cruz, program officer for education and diversity at the Exxon Mobil Corporation.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, students went on a tour of The University of Texas at Austin campus that will began at the site of the César Chávez statue located near the Texas Union.

Guests from The University of Texas at Austin community, the Texas Education Agency, and representatives of the State Legislature also attended this significant event that will be held, most appropriately, on the birthday of César Chávez.

The Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program is sponsored by the Texas Education Agency in its ongoing effort to improve the high school graduation rate of Texas migrant students who miss school when they migrate to follow the harvest. For over 20 years, the program has helped thousands of migrant students graduate by providing them with opportunities to earn credit through distance learning courses that are accessible at any time and any place.

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