Thursday, May 15, 2008

Looking back...

How can it be May already? Here we are sweltering in this 90 degree weather in our office, and our staff is a bit sad we have already ended our 07-08 school year. Tomorrow is our annual step-up ceremony (i.e. graduation ceremony - although we like to celebrate ALL our students "stepping-up" into their new grade and experiences) and we are tremendously excited to honor our 8th grade graduates and welcome our new current 5th grade students into the program.

Looking back through the past 8 months of our after-school program, our staff is highly proud of the accomplishments of our SMART students. Many of you have struggled with new language classes (although most of our students take Spanish, some of you are taking Japanese and French!), adjusting to a new school and social environment, all the while, juggling extra-curricular activities and homework. We are constantly amazed at how hard our students work and we are extremely proud of your motivation and drive for success.

Some of our alumni seniors in high schools have gotten some wonderful news from colleges. We have news of acceptances at Duke University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, San Francisco State University, Carleton College... and many more. We hope you keep in touch with us as you continue to enrichen your lives with higher education.

However, let's not forget our 8th graders!! After a grueling application process that involves interviews, school visits, essays, SSATs and more - we are so excited about your new school placements and what accomplishments we know you will achieve in these schools.

Special thanks to Jacky and Joanna for their extreme hard work and professional growth as our after-school program interns. Thank you to our volunteer tutors and mentors who kept our students on track and provided much needed guidance and energy. Most importantly, we would like to especially thank the dedication and hard work of our dear own Alvaro Marquez, who will be leaving us to pursue his PhD in Ethnic Studies at University of Southern California in the fall. We will miss him dearly (and so will the students), but we wish you much success in your pursuit of an advanced degree.

Have a fun summer everyone!

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