Maricopa Comm. Colleges Hold American Indian Convocation
June 2, 2023
Gila River Indian News
Sixty Spring 2023 graduates lined the rows of Phoenix College’s Bulpitt Auditorium for the Maricopa Community College’s American Indian Convocation Ceremony on May 10. Among those graduating were several GRIC students greeted on stage by Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and 2023-24 Miss Gila River Lehua Lani Dosela and 2023-24 Jr. Miss Gila River Eleanor Lynch.
“Tonight, was inspiring, seeing the next generation come into their own, they all worked hard to get here, and I’m excited to see what they become,” said District 5 Community Councilman James De La Rosa.
Councilman De La Rosa expressed pride in seeing the graduation of GRIC students that night, including two of his daughters. “It’s great to see more of our Community members getting their education,” said De La Rosa. He believes that every graduate present that night contributes to realizing this dream.
“Education is one thing that no one can take away from you, so I encourage everyone to go out and get an education. If I can do it, you can do it,” said Sheree Jimenez, daughter of Councilman De La Rosa. “Tonight was beautiful, we [Native Americans] aren’t always recognized often in education, so it was great to have this ceremony to honor our accomplishments.”
Many GRIC graduates also praised the memorable occasion with similar praise.
“I feel amazing, I’m on my way to Grand Canyon University next, and I hope to bring this all back to help the Community,” said Ruthie Ringlero-Angel, District 6.
And Rebecca Lewis, District 4, said, “After I take my last final, I’m good to go, and then I’m ready to further my education by transferring to Arizona State University for health care management.” Lewis plans on bringing her education back to serve as an EMS chief in the future.
“The best day in my career, every year, is this convocation,” said Diana Martinez, Student Advisor and emcee for the convocation. “We’re able to bring together all our resources, bring in our culture, and celebrate our students, so it’s incredible to see it all happen here tonight,” said Martinez.
Maricopa Community Colleges’ Native American student advisers, staff, and faculty from all 10 campuses that comprise the Maricopa Affinity Resource Group organized The American Indian Convocation.
The organizers emphasized that this year’s event was unique and aimed to make it more inclusive and personal than previous years. They selected Phoenix College in Downtown Phoenix as the venue because of its convenient location and consideration for parking and wheelchair accessibility.