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Campus to Host First BECHS Graduation

BROWNSVILE, TEXAS-MAY 30, 2012-The first graduating class of the Brownsville Early College High School will receive their high school diplomas at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2 at The Arts Center at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.

 “We are very proud of our first graduates. Our students have pioneered the pathway to higher education,” said Dawn Hall, BECHS Principal. “Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college and are blazing the trail to be a college graduate for their brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. We celebrate with all of our graduates and their families.”

Of the 85 students in the senior class, 34 already were awarded an associate of arts degree at Spring Commencement at UTB and TSC on May 19.

BECHS is a partnership between the Brownsville Independent School District and UTB and TSC. Highly motivated students earn a high school diploma at the same time they are taking college courses towards an associate of arts degree. Students undergo a rigorous curriculum to prepare them for higher education. Since the school opened in 2008, there are currently 302 students enrolled at BECHS.

BECHs graduates with UTB President Dr. Juliet V. García. Thirty-Four BECHS graduates earned Associate of Arts degrees at Spring Commencement on May 19.

“The first day of school I was scared,” said BECHS student Stephanie Montoya. “I thought I was not going to make it and I would be a disappointment. There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but after speaking with my teachers and my counselors, I would have a renewed rigor and strength to do my work and succeed.”

Montoya has not decided on her major but she wants to study English or become a Physician’s Assistant.

Paloma Rodriguez will deliver the valedictorian address at the graduation ceremony. She has been the top student since the school opened. Named a Gates Millennium Scholar, she plans to study biology at UTB and hopes to become a pediatrician.

“My parents were always happy for me to be at the top of my class,” Rodriguez said. “I am motivation for my little brothers for them to do best in school and my grandfather, since I was a child, he encouraged me to stay in school and do the best I can.”

Rebecca Castillo said attending BECHS helped her grow as a person. She said her most memorable experiences were taking college classes at UTB.

“Going from one class to another, walking thru the campus and all of its surroundings, I felt very happy and proud of myself,” said Castillo who wants to study biology or nursing.

At the graduation, Dr. Carl A. Montoya, BISD Superintendent, delivered the keynote speech. Additional remarks will be provided by Wynn Rosser, Executive Director of the Greater Texas Foundation, Chris Coxon and Alma G. Garcia, Chief Program Officers for Educate Texas.

To learn more about BECHS, call 956-698-1476.

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