In sync with the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, Niños de Chapala y Ajijic (NCA) held a celebration luncheon Saturday, July 16 to honor 39 sponsored students who graduated this year from pre-school, elementary, middle school and high school programs.
NCA President Doug Friend, Secretary Susan Johnson and local school zone supervisor and NCA board member Cony Larios congratulated the graduates, telling them, “Your triumphs are our triumphs.” They also saluted NCA supporters, including individual sponsors and volunteer English tutors, leading a warm round of applause from students and parents.
In his remarks, guest speaker Moises Ledezma Ruiz, head of Jalisco’s technical secondary schools, emphasized themes that represent core NCA values.
“Generosity characterizes those who support this noble mission. Students and families are grateful to the organization and teachers.”
The most touching words came from two of NCA’s model achievers, María Guadalupe Martínez Martínez and Maria José Rojas Barajas, both aged 18 and new Preparatoria (high school) Chapala alumnae who graduated with almost perfect grade point averages.
“To those who think they can’t achieve their goals, I say don’t give up,” remarked Martínez, who is seeking admission to the University of Guadalajara (UdG) to study photonics engineering and prepare for a career in sustainable energy technology. “Thank you NCA for believing in me.”
Said Rojas: “I can’t believe I’ve finally finished high school. Thanks to all the people who encouraged me to get ahead.” Rojas hopes to enter the physics curriculum at the UdG. “My dream is to study astronomy; I’m amazed by the mysteries of the universe,” he said.
Following the academic ceremony, the crowd enjoyed dances from the state of Tabasco performed by the NCA folklórico troupe, a sit-down lunch with cake for dessert and festive piñata breaking.
Founded in 1977, NCA is a non-profit support group that has completed 38 years helping promising students from humble families achieve their education goals. This year the group had more than 150 youngsters from the lakeside area under its wings.