Six graduates from MacArthur Senior High School were honored during the Hinojosa EC/PK Center Parent VISA (Volunteers in the Schools of Aldine) and Business Partner Meeting held May 16.
This is the second class of seniors to graduate from MacArthur who began their academic career at Hinojosa, which opened in 1997.
Five years ago, Principal Sandra Arredondo decided to track the first class of students from Hinojosa to graduate high school. It was about the same time the Hinojosa campus set a goal to instill in the school’s students a desire to graduate from high school and to pursue a college degree. The Hinojosa staff members and parents also decided they would raise funds to award college scholarships. This has become known as the Mac Grad Project.
Throughout the school year, Hinojosa staff members met with the MacArthur administration, teachers and counselors to help support students. Hinojosa teachers attended MacArthur events like “Go Get It Week” and open house as a way to familiarize themselves with the former early childhood center’s students and their families. These events also served as an opportunity to make students aware about the scholarships.
This year, the Mac Grad Project decided to work with students who needed additional help. For example, the Hinojosa staff “adopted” a few at-risk seniors. The staff sent the students encouraging notes and small treats. The Mac Grad Project also hosted an ice cream social for the students. The goal was to let the students know that their Hinojosa and MacArthur families cared about them and wanted them to keep focused on finishing high school as well as inspire the students to go to college.
“The Mac Grad Project is very important to us,” said Arredondo. “This is our way of supporting our students’ higher educational endeavors.”
In MacArthur’s Class of 2012, 191 of those seniors were former Hinojosa students. Twenty-five of the students applied for the scholarships. This year, the PTA at Hinojosa provided six $500 scholarships for students to use at the school of their choice. The hard job of selecting the recipients fell to the Scholarship Committee, which was comprised of four Hinojosa teachers and an AISD director of human resources as well as business partners InvesTex Credit Union, Tuttle Development, and ARK. Hinojosa administrators helped to facilitate the process.
“There were so many excellent applicants to choose from,” said Isabel Hejazi, a teacher and committee member. “We are hoping this money will help in funding their first year at college.”
The Scholarship Committee named Estefanía Badillo, Pablo Flores, Jacqueline Jennings, Avigail Leal, Stephanie Martínez, and Gricelda Romo as the recipients of the 2012 scholarships. At the event, each of the recipients was honored and received a scholarship award letter. The students also shared their future college goals with business partners as well as with parents of students at Hinojosa.
Arredondo was very excited for the students.
“We were very excited to see our second group of Hinojosa PK graduates walk across the stage and become MacArthur graduates,” said Arredondo. “I am now looking forward to seeing our first group of MacArthur/Hinojosa alums graduate from their universities.”
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