A salute to graduates of El Portal

Dear Editor,
It is with great pride and humility that I write this letter in
recognition of our Mexican American Community Services Association
El Portal Leadership Academy graduating seniors. It seems so recent
that the vision and mission of MACSA in writing a charter and
opening the high school four years ago with their first freshman
class, unfolded.
Dear Editor,

It is with great pride and humility that I write this letter in recognition of our Mexican American Community Services Association El Portal Leadership Academy graduating seniors. It seems so recent that the vision and mission of MACSA in writing a charter and opening the high school four years ago with their first freshman class, unfolded.

MACSA El Portal, initially, was met with much opposition, controversy, and adversity. The growing pains were challenging but not insurmountable. The dedication of administrators, teachers, parents, and students, coupled with community support, was the catalyst for maintaining and achieving such an invaluable objective.

Since the beginning, the mission has been the same – that of empowering young students to take responsibility for themselves, instilling a mindset that they are capable of achieving academically, excel personally, becoming leaders and contributors within their communities. Creating an environment in which these students would react more positively and take greater responsibility in their academic opportunities, MACSA has set quite a model for the success of otherwise low-achieving students.

So it is cause for celebration, not only among the MACSA family, but throughout our community. This formula for success is certainly beneficial throughout our community and we should all stand proud and applaud the achievements of this first MACSA El Portal graduating class of 2005.

These young individuals will now go out and contribute to their respective communities, creating positive change and underscoring the very fabric by which Gilroy can be most proud. Among the 53 seniors, 48 (90.56 percent) have applied to a UC/CSU, private universities, Gavilan College or a technical institute. As of last week, 23 have been accepted to four-year universities including San Jose State, Sacramento State, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Los Angeles, National Hispanic University and the San Francisco Culinary Institute.

Many of these students will be the first in their families to attend college or a university. I cannot overemphasize the value that the dedication, commitment and perseverance of these young individuals brings to our community. We have before us a tangible way in which to show further support and appreciation. These students will need financial support in their journey towards academic excellence. We can make a tax deductible contribution to the MACSA El Portal Leadership Academy Scholarship Fund. The address is 130 Jackson Ave., San Jose, CA 95116 or contact MACSA at 408-928-1122. Let´s let them know just how proud we are!

Ernesto Olivares,

Gilroy Founding Member, Advisory School Board El Portal Leadership Academy

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