Local program celebrates graduation for at-risk students


MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – For Communities In Schools of the Permian Basin graduation is so much more than walking across the stage and getting a diploma. It’s a reassurance for at-risk youth that despite the cards they were dealt they over came their obstacles and made it to the other side with a diploma in hand.

Nathaniel Sarabia, a Campus Coordinator said, “They face challenges that most people don’t have to face so for them celebrating this is awesome.”

“It’s been a great journey, some of these students they just need love and mentoring and that’s what I did, and what I do,” said Sylvia Castillo a fellow Campus Coordinator at Midland Lee.

Hilda Sanchez, the Program Director, said they have over 1,400 students enrolled in their program right now and 159 of those at-risk students are graduating seniors. Tuesday afternoon the non-profit made time to see each senior through a drive through to hand them their senior gifts.

“They’ll get their graduation cords, and then a gift from Communities In Schools, and then we had an amazing agency, the Permian Basin Apartment Association, donated us a gift card for each student,” said Sanchez.

Castillo adding that “they had a lot of struggles to get here and for us to just say ‘oh sorry’ it’s not really fair so we wanted to come out and do something great for them to make them feel like they did do something, because they did. Just make them feel accomplished and give them that congratulations.”

Nathaniel Sarabia said he is proud of their progress and looks forward to their future accomplishments.

“They come in very immature Freshmen, Sophomores, and they’re just like bouncing off the walls then they start getting a little more serious Junior year and then Senior year is like ‘awe man, what am I going to do can you help me.'”

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