By Judy King, reprinted with permission
Representatives from the Jalisco Secretariat of Education (SEJ) were on hand to congratulate the parents and sponsors of the 43 Los Niños de Chapala y Ajijic (NCA) elementary through university and trade school graduates feted during the grand graduation celebration hosted by NCA on Saturday, July 18.
The charismatic Maestra Cony Larios, who is the supervisor of school zone 10 and NCA Advisor, revealed her range of talents during the planning and preparation of the celebration and again on the day of the party when she stepped to the podium as mistress of ceremony for the celebration with Susan Johnson, director of the NCA board.
Attending the event as special guests were Dra. Patricia de la Torre Greenfield, director of the post-graduate Center for Pedagogical and Social Research, SEJ, and Dr. Moisés Ledezma Ruíz, director of Technical Secondary Schools, SEJ.
Both state education representatives addressed the audience, expressing, their joy in attending and to see the satisfaction in the smiles of those who had graduated and the pride in the faces of the parents of the graduates.
Dra de la Torre Greeenfield added, “Studying, wanting to learn is acquiring the intellectual tools needed to achieve goals in life.” She saluted the NCA organization for working, as is expressed in their logo “For the Love of Education.” And she spoke especially to the parents, family members and sponsors of the students, recognizing them for their support and the efforts and sacrifices they make for education. She added that she is confident that Jalisco Secretary of Education Francisco de Jesús Ayón will be quite interested once she shares with him the mission and work of NCA.
In his remarks, Dr. Ledezma Ruz said, “This program that allows students to learn and study; to completed these steps in their educational journey is the proof of the edict that we should live by deeds and not words alone.” He continued, saluting NCA for its transcendent, noble and admirable mission and contributions to the future of so many young people. He advised the students to express their gratitude to their parents, teachers, sponsors, NCA and all who have made possible their education. Then he asked them to strive to be their best for themselves, their families and for society.
Later in the program the officials from the Jalisco Secretariat of Education presented certificates of recognition to the recent elementary, middle school, high school and university and trade school graduates and certificates of honor to the students’ parents. These certificates, along with special invitations, and the Spanish portion of the afternoon’s program were designed and created by Larios
The afternoon’s entertainment was presented by the Ballet Folkloric Macehuini troupe from Primary School Ramon Corona and Basilo Vadillo. The award-winning performers displayed their skill with the Mexican hat-style dance of Jalisco and a cowboy themed dance representing the northwest states of Mexico.
The event was finished off in typical Mexican style with cake, several large candy-filled piñatas and an assortment of NCA logo-bearing gifts for the parents, benefactors and sponsors of the students.
The continued success of NCA as it strives, year after year to encourage financially challenged students to succeed in school owes much to the generosity of individual, community and corporate sponsors. Groups and businesses including American Legion Post 7, eSun Energy, Lakeside Presbyterian Church, the Chili Cook-Off, the Daughters of the American Revolution all have been instrumental in supporting the work of NCA.
Joining the graduation celebration guests were Commander Tim Stern and Adjutant Vince Britton of the American Legion Post 7. They compared the party to a family picnic, but added that a high point was meeting the NCA grads. Said Stern, “The best part was seeing the moms receive their own well-deserved recognition, too. This is just a great event by a great group. NCA’s objectives harmonize so well with our own at the Legion: we’re both reaching out to the community and leaving things better than we found them.”
The Mexican law that governs the non-profit status held my NCA permits the organiion to retain only 5% of sponsor-contributions to cover office and overhead expenses of managing the paperwork of the students and their needs. The gap in funding is met partially by corporate and community partners and boosted by NCA fundraisers. “A Celebration of Mexico,” on Tuesday, August 25, 7 p.m. will be held at Viva Mexico Tia Lupita Restaurant in San Juan Cosala. Tickets are 250 pesos and include Agustin’s typical Mexican buffet, folkloric dancing, 50/50 raffle and more. For tickets call (376) 766-0848 or (376) 765-5454 or visit the NCA Bazar in Riberas del Pilar.
For information about sponsoring a student for the 2015-2016 school year call either of the phone numbers above or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on the NCA website at www.lakesideninos.org.