With beautiful handmade flowers adorning the tables, and strings of “testimonios” (testimonies) attached to student pictures as the backdrop, two cohorts of the Puente learning community gathered on May 4, 2018 to celebrate 25 years of Puente at Skyline College. Continuing the tradition, graduating Puentistas, scholarship recipients, students who had completed the first year of Puente, and mentors were recognized. Also recognized were the previous Puente instructors from the last 25 years.
Dr. Angélica Garcia offered the initial welcome, followed by a message from Skyline College President, Regina Stanback-Stroud (read by Puente Counselor, Rocio Aguilar Pedroza). Dr. Cesar Cruz gave a powerful keynote speech, reminding us all of our purpose to ourselves and our community. Grace Ebron, Director of Training at Puente, gave a 2nd keynote that really brought home the passage of 25 years. Finally, Puente alumni, Kimberly Avena, Marjourie Quintanilla, and Cesar Vasquez Chavez spoke of the impact of Puente on their educational trajectory.
This milestone event was a gathering of familia—the love and support from friends and family members, mentors, and colleagues was felt by the students. Special thanks to the Puente team: Rocio Aguilar-Pedroza, Paula Silva, Alberto Santellan, as well as to Learning Community Program Services Coordinator Marisa Thigpen for her assistance in logistics prior to and during the event.