Migrant Student Program recognizes 2012’s exemplary students


The Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program held its annual Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony on April 2 at the Etter Harbin Alumni Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the program, and 40 migrant students were honored for their exemplary achievements. The event was attended by approximately 300 guests, including migrant students from 19 Texas school districts, parents, teachers, counselors and members of the press.

More than 1,800 Texas migrant students are completing their high school graduation requirements this year through the program, which is administered by the K-16 Education Center, an enterprise of the Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE). Since its beginning over 25,000 students have earned credit through the program. This year, five students, including Eric Guajardo and Jessica Reyna, who were named as “Students of the Year,” received college scholarships funded by a gift from ExxonMobil for their academic excellence, talent and hard work. The additional scholarship recipients were Aaron Meija of Lopez High School in Brownsville, Texas, Gabriela Romero of San Benito High School in San Benito, Texas, and Creative Award winner Sebastian Nieto of Edinburg High School in Edinburg, Texas.

View the gallery from the 2012 Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony below.

During the ceremony, Program Coordinator Peggy Wimberley was recognized for her long-standing commitment to the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program. She has worked very closely with the program since its beginning on our campus 25 years ago. Through the years, she has shown a fierce dedication to the success of the program and to the many students who have earned high school credits, gone on to graduate high school, and attend college because of their participation in the program. During the ceremony, Peggy was surprised with a commemorative plaque and a special video congratulations that looked back on her career with the Migrant Student Program.

The 25th anniversary ceremony was also reported in several blogs and news websites including:

  • University president Bill Powers offered his congratulations to this year's Exemplary Migrant Students in his Tower Talk blog.
  • Austin’s Fox 7 "Good Day Austin" morning show included a post-ceremony interview with CIE Executive Director Linda Glessner and 2010 Exemplary Migrant Student Carlissa Garcia
  • Time Warner's Austin news channel YNN attended the ceremony and offered a video report entitled "Migrant student sacrifices honored at UT."
  • The Daily Texan published it's story "UT aids in migrant education."
  • The Monitor, a news website for the Rio Grande Valley, published "Local migrants named state's students of the year"
  • Ahora Si posted a web story in addition to publishing a story in their published newspaper.
  • The Special Olympics included a news story on their website honoring Creative Award Winner and Special Olympics athlete Sebastian Nieto entitled "Artwork Takes Athlete to New Heights"
Congratulations to all of the 2012 Exemplary Migrant Students!

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Click an image below to open a larger image from the 2012 Exemplary Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony.


Information session Campus tour Arely Ramirez Texas Cowboys greet guests. The Etter Harbin Alumni Center
25th Anniversary Medals Special commemorative books Student artwork Juan Diaz Gisela Greco-Llamas, director of the K-16 Education Center
Linda Glessner congratulates Peggy Wimberley. Luz Hinojosa 2012 Exemplary Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony Mirzelen Martinez, Kristina Hernandez, Eric Guajardo Linda Glessner, Kristina Hernandez, Gisela Greco-Llamas
President Bill Powers Eric Guajardo is named a Student of the Year. Jessica Reyna is named a Student of the Year. Linda Glessner congratulates Jessica Reyna. Student Michelle Silva performs.
Arely Ramirez, Maribel Garcia and Esmerelda Zapata Sebastian Nieto, scholarship recipient and Creative Award winner Student of the Year Jessica Reyna ((Left to right) Eric Guajardo and Jessica Reyna with their counselors. 2012 Students of the Year Jessica Reyna and Eric Guajardo


Tags: students, sebastian nieto, president bill powers, peggy wimberley, migrant student recognition ceremony, migrant student program, migrant student graduation enhancement program, migrant, luz hinojosa, linda glessner, k-16 education center, jessica reyna, impact, gabriela romero, eric guajardo, aaron mejia, 25th anniversary,