GRIC Graduates Honored Via Zoom
August 5, 2022
The Gila River Indian Community’s Tribal Education Department (TED) celebrated the academic achievements of 170 high school graduates and 70 graduates of junior colleges, colleges and trade schools during a virtual celebration on July 28. Held via Zoom and streamed by the Gila River Broadcast Corp. The event brought together graduates, family, friends and staff for an evening celebration.
“They were resilient,” said TED Director Isaac Salcido. “They persevered, they stuck to it, but many people thought that they would not be able to do the things that they did. Not only did they accomplish them, but they surpassed many, many people’s expectations.”
Lt. Gov. Monica Antone also spoke, saying, “We share our intense emotions as we close a chapter in your life story, and more importantly, you are special as you graduated during a time where the world faced enormous challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Students were also highlighted during the celebration. Jasmine Lamas-Enos, a recent graduate from Cesar Chavez High School, spoke about her journey and shared some of the hardships she encountered along the way.
Though she was very excited to start her high school experience, make lots of friends, and join a few clubs, she faced many challenges, brought on by the pandemic. “I worked really hard, [but] when I became a sophomore, I quickly realized that school just became too much for me,” said Lamas-Enos.
“I would say it was worth it, even though it caused me lots of stress,” she added. “It was extremely difficult for me to focus on my studies, especially because some of my family members passed away.”
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis congratulated the students and commended them for their hard work and perseverance.
“We’re so proud of everything that you’ve continually had to overcome to be here among our Community,” he said. “Whether it was close to home or far from home, Community members, I know your educational experiences have enriched your life in many ways that you will carry with you.”
“Be proud of yourself and take time to celebrate your accomplishments,” Gov. Lewis added. “The Community is here to support you, for you to follow your dreams. Never forget where you come from and always, always stay Gila River strong.”