City College Times

Graduation celebrates student accomplishments

ECE club comes together to honor community partners

ECE event is hosted in the San Jose City College gym May 20.

ECE event is hosted in the San Jose City College gym May 20.

Leslie Aguilar

Leslie Aguilar

ECE event is hosted in the San Jose City College gym May 20.

Leslie Aguilar, Times Staff

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The first annual Early Childhood Education graduation and community recognition ceremony was held on May 20 in the SJCC gymnasium, from 9 am to 12pm. Over 150 certificates were awarded to graduating students, community leaders, and faculty that supported the ECE club over the past year.

Award categories included Outstanding Center Based Teachers, Outstanding Homeschooling Parents, Outstanding Community Family Child Care Providers, and Outstanding Parent of the Year.

Graduating students who had received a degree, ECE certificate, or ECE permit during 2016 or 2017 were recognized in front of family and friends

The award and graduation ceremony were accompanied by a musical performance starring the members of the Angels on Stage, a dance program focused on empowering children and young adults with special needs.

Mina Alsadoon, founder and president of the ECE and also one of the event coordinators, says she is proud of the success of the event, and describes it as a rewarding experience.

“There were so many beautiful things, it (the performances) made me laugh and cry, it was magnificent, it was like a spark,” she says.

President of San Jose City College Byron Breland served as a keynote speaker, and Elizabeth Ramirez Sharp, faculty of the ECE department and advisor to the ECE club provided an introduction speech that highlighted the achievements of her students, and praised ECE supporters for their hard work.

“Our students here at SJCC work so hard, they are over committed, they are single moms, and the way they give their time and energy inspires me to give my time and energy, and to realize we have to constantly serve and give to the community,” Sharp said.

Griselda Serrano, a graduating student who is also a mother and wife, says she is proud of herself for finishing school even with all her added family responsibilities.

“I’m so happy that I’m being recognized, I’m very proud I was able to get my Inclusion Specialist certificate, while having a family to support as well,” says Serrano. “ I hope later I can get my degree so I can transfer to a university.”

Nadia Lopez, vice president and co-founder of the ECE club and also one of the graduating students, received her associate teacher permit and is working towards receiving her Inclusion Specialist certificate.

“Ms. Elizabeth Sharp has had the biggest impact on me,” she said “Just helping me change my mindset to ‘I can’ instead of ‘I can’t.’”

Lopez was also one of the event coordinators alongside Alsadoon.

“We are here on SJCC soil and we matter, we need to be unified, this was a wonderful gathering and we hope to do it next year,” Lopez said.

Sharp says that this event was to celebrate students and community leaders for choosing to follow a profession that is under appreciated yet is essential for society’s future advancement.

“In these times, in these very trying times, I don’t have faith in government, I have faith in teachers and educators,” Sharp said. “At the end of the day, we educators and parents are the ones to ignite the spark of the next generation, and so never lose hope, because you’re the hope.”

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Graduation celebrates student accomplishments