Tribal Education recognizes GRIC high school and college grads
July 1, 2016
With the echoes of graduation celebrations fading, there is still a reason to celebrate the accomplishments of the Community’s high school and college graduates.
The Tribal Education Department hosted a graduation banquet to recognize the Community’s graduates at the District 7 Multipurpose Building on June 17.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said that it was an honor to personally sign the dozens of certificates awarded to them for their hard work.
Lt. Gov. Monica Antone said the honor was all hers, because there are so many students going on to do important things in their lives. It will allow them opportunities only available through a college education.
One student traveled quite a ways to attend the banquet from Neosho, Mo.
Alaya Nicole Clayton said it was an exciting experience to visit the Community all the way from her Midwestern home.
She graduated from East Newton High School in May and will be attending Missouri Southern State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in radiology.
The visit to GRIC was extra special, because her grandmother Carlotta George and high school best friend Annie Lezure made the trip to the Community.
Clayton said, “[It] excites me to be around graduates who share a common interest in [their] education and to see that we come from different places as Community members.”
Another high school graduate wants to combine his interests in law and business together.
Gabriel Madrid is from District 3 and is excited about attending the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University to begin his studies as a psychology major.
The Coolidge High School graduate won’t be taking a break from academia for long.
He will be traveling to Atlanta, Ga. to attend a Future Business Leaders of America conference and competition from June 29 to July 2.
“I’ve always been interested in business and law. When I took a business class in high school that really set my interest in what I want to do,” he said.
To end the program, two graduates, Marissa Sunna and Candalerian Preston, provided remarks on achieving their education goals.
Sunna, District 5, graduated from Vista Grande High School. She said her family is the main force behind her desire to get a college degree.
She will be attending Chandler-Gilbert Community College and then plans on transferring to the University of Arizona with an emphasis on medical coding and billing.
Preston, District 5, received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona. She is optimistic for the future because more tribal members are obtaining college degrees allowing for more creative approaches to solving some the tribes pressing issues.
“When you speak, you speak for our people, when you act, you act for our people,” she said.
TED Director Isaac Salcido said, “If [we] keep graduating students like [these], the Community is going to be in good hands.”