Hermanos End of Year CelebrationOn Monday, May 18, 2015 over 125 Hermanos and Hermanas students, family members, Skyline College faculty, community members, mentors and friends attended the Hermanos y Hermanas End of the Year Celebration. This culminating event acknowledges the educational and personal achievements of the Hermanos/as students and celebrates those students graduating from Skyline College.

This memorable event included a special keynote speech by educator Pablo Gonzalez, as well as speeches by Alberto Santellan, Hermanos instructor and Hermanos/as students, including South San Francisco High School students Clint Flynn and Hannen Alkusari and Westmoor High School student Alexis Guillen. Former Skyline College Career Counselor, Virginia Padron was our very special guest and she surprised Hermanos/as students with additional certificates of recognition from Senator Jerry Hill and Assemblyman Kevin Mullin. Lastly, a certificate of recognition was given to Aricka Bueno for her four years of service as a counselor and instructor at Skyline College and for her work with the Hermanos y Hermanas Program. Senator Hill joined Skyline College colleagues in Student Services in thanking her for her many efforts on behalf of this important student program.

The Hermanos/as students at both the high school and college-level received awards and Latino/a heritage sashes for all of their hard work throughout the academic year. Jenifer Espinosa received the Community Leadership Award. The Shining Star Awards were given to Luis Bautista, Nellely Castaneda, Karolyn Lopez, Xunaxi Lopez, Raul Magallon, Brayan Palma, Guadalupe Palomino, Rudy Ordonez, Jessica Ramirez, Allen Sanchez, and Priscilla Sanchez who are all graduating from Skyline College.

The event, which has been coordinated by Aricka Bueno for the past four years, is one of several events that serve to celebrate the academic, social, and emotional growth of students in the Hermanos/as Program at Skyline College. The Hermanos/as Program provides academic instruction, mentoring, and family support for Latino/a students with the goal of preparing students to transition out of high school and into college. The program strives to instill its students with confidence along with the academic and personal skills needed to succeed in college and in life.  The event was a true collaboration between the students and their families, the community, South San Francisco High School, Westmoor High School and Skyline College. Many of the high school students from South San Francisco High School and Westmoor High School will be joining us in the fall as Skyline College students! Congratulations to all of the graduating Hermanos and Hermanas! Best wishes in their future academic and career endeavors!

Article by Aricka Bueno