Two former Hinojosa EC/Pre-K Center students took part in a special ceremony at their old alma mater. Sisters Seleste and Liliana García received scholarships from the center just before one headed off to college this fall and the younger prepared to enter high school.
Seleste, who graduated from MacArthur High School in the spring with the class of 2014, received a $500 Mac Grad Scholarship. She can use the money toward her tuition and fees at Texas A&M University. This was one of six scholarships Seleste received from various entities. Fifteen-year-old Liliana will follow in her sister’s footsteps and will attend “Big Mac” in the fall. She received a YMCA Camp Cullen Scholarship that allowed her to attend the camp at the end of July.
“This is the fourth year we awarded the scholarships,” said María Gonzáles, a teacher and Mac Grad Committee member at the campus. “Each year, we award the scholarships to six seniors. The recipients must have begun their education at Hinojosa and must graduate from MacArthur High School. This is our way to continue to help our students. But our students’ families support the scholarships. Parents help the students by supporting our luncheons and ‘Coins for College’ campaign fundraisers.”
Incidentally, 2014 was the first year Hinojosa EC/Pre-K sponsors the YMCA scholarship.
“We designed the YMCA scholarship for ninth grade students who attended Hinojosa,” added Gonzáles. “Principal Sandra Arredondo asked the committee to expand to reach out to other grade levels. This scholarship enables the recipient to travel to another city and experience what it is like to attend a camp. Liliana was able to meet other teenagers from all over the state thanks to the help of our local YMCA.”
“We are very grateful to the campus for awarding us these scholarships,” said Seleste.
The sisters have set clear goals for their future and are making strides to achieve them. Seleste and Liliana both give credit to their parents for their involvement in their education. They both have memories of their mom, María García, who died three years ago from cervical cancer. Their mom wanted what most parents want for the children: a successful career.
“My mom always pushed me to get A’s and B’s,” said Seleste. “College was mandatory for us in her eyes and now I realize why she was so involved in our education. I am very grateful for everything she did for us.”
“Neither of our parents went to college and my dad didn’t even graduate from high school,” added Liliana. “But my parents have always wanted us to be successful since we started school. If we had a project due, they made sure we stayed focused and that we had all the materials we needed.”
The sisters remember their days at Hinojosa EC/PK with fondness, but they also have strong career goals for their future. Seleste plans on going into the oil and gas field while Liliana wants to pursue a career in forensic science.
They are setting a great example for their five-year-old brother Sergio. He attends Hinojosa and saw his sisters receiving the scholarships. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Sergio responds, “A firefighter because I get to ride on a fire truck, hear the cool sirens and play with the hoses.”
All the siblings appear to be on the right path towards successful careers.
“I want to make my parents proud, especially since my mom is not around anymore,” said Liliana. “And I want to take care of my dad one day. Just like he takes care of me.”
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