Charter College of Education Graduate and Undergraduate Ceremony

Charter College of Education Graduate and Undergraduate Ceremony

October 9, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


WILL THE CLASS OF 2018 PLEASE
RISE TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY? NOW WILL EVERYONE PLEASE RISE
FOR THE ACADEMIC PROCESSION? [MUSIC] NOW WILL EVERYONE PLEASE
RISE FOR THE ACADEMIC PROCESSION? [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC]>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE
REMAIN STANDING AND WELCOME CAL STATE LA STUDENT ANA RANGEL WHO
WILL SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM ACCOMPANIED BY THE CAL STATE LA
BRASS QUINTET. >>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE
REMAIN STANDING AND WELCOME CAL STATE LA STUDENT ANA RANGEL WHO
WILL SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM ‘S ACCOMPANIED BY THE CAL STATE LA
BRASS QUINTET. [NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYING] O SAY,
CAN YOU SEE BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED
AT THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING WHOSE BROAD STRIPES AND BRIGHT STARS THROUGH THE
PERILOUS FIGHT O’ER THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING AND THE ROCKETS’ RED GLARE, THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR GAVE PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE O SAY, DOES THAT STAR-SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE O’ER THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>PLEASE BE SEATED. GOOD EVENING, STUDENTS, HONORED
FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. I’M DR. CHERYL NEY, DEAN OF THE
CHARTER COLLEGE OF EDUCATION. WELCOME TO OUR 2018 COMMENCEMENT
CEREMONY. WELCOME. STUDENTS, OVER THE
COURSE OF YOUR ACADEMIC CAREER, OUR FACULTY, ADMINISTRATION AND
STAFF HAVE SHARED WITH YOU VALUABLE INFORMATION ABOUT THE
WORLD OF EDUCATION THAT INFORMS AND EXCITES THEM. THEY HAVE
FOCUSED THEIR EXPERTISE ON YOUR SUCCESS TO PREPARE YOU FOR
YOUR CAREER IN EDUCATION TO SERVE CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND
ADULTS IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES. FACULTY HAVE BECOME YOUR MENTORS
AND, FOR MANY OF YOU, YOUR COLLEAGUES. AT THIS TIME I WOULD LIKE TO
ACKNOWLEDGE AND THANK THE CHAIR OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE, VEENA
PRABHU, THE MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY, EMERITI FACULTY, AND STAFF REPRESENTING THE
UNIVERSITY’S SIX COLLEGES, THE JOHN F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL
LIBRARY, AND THE UNIVERSITY’S ADMINISTRATION FOR ASSISTING OUR
STUDENTS TO EXCEL AND ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. WILL THESE MEMBERS
OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY PLEASE STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED? ALL RIGHT, STUDENTS. STAND UP.
FACULTY, UP. THANK YOU. YOU MAY BE SEATED. NOW, PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING
THE PRESIDENT OF CAL STATE LA, WILLIAM A. COVINO. CHAIRMAN
>>CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2018! I WANT TO INTRODUCE ONE MORE
VERY IMPORTANT PERSON. THE FIRST LADY OF SPEECH, THE
INITIATOR OF OUR MIND MATTERS INITIATIVE THAT IS FOCUSED ON
THE WELL-BEING OF OUR STUDENTS. AND THE RECENT WINNER OF A
MENTAL HEALTH YEAR AWARD FROM THE
CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY. SHE IS BACK THERE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] I WANT TO OPEN WITH A COUPLE OF
QUESTIONS. HOW MANY OF YOU, OR WHICH OF
YOU, AMONG OUR DOCTORATE GRADUATE BY THE
FIRST AND THAT YOUR FAMILIES TO RECEIVE A DOCTORATE? FIRST
GENERATION? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] ALL RIGHT,
YES. YOU CAN TELL THEY ARE DEAD,
GETTING DOCTORAL DEGREES BECAUSE IF YOU ASK THAT TO THE OTHER
STUDENTS, THEY YELL, SCREAM, AND STAMP THEIR FEET. LAST MONTH VERY WELL BEHAVED. HOW MANY OF OUR MASTERS DEGREE
STUDENTS TODAY ARE THE FIRST IN THEIR FAMILY TO RECEIVE MASTERS
DEGREE? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND HOW MANY ARE THE FIRST IN
YOUR FAMILIES TO RECEIVE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] OKAY, ALL
RIGHT. CONGRATULATIONS. CONGRATULATIONS. YOU’VE MADE IT.
YOU’VE WORKED HARD FOR THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT. YOU PERSEVERED.
YOU EXCELLED. AND TODAY WE CELEBRATE ALL THAT
YOU’VE ACHIEVED AND ALL THAT IS YET TO COME. IN THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE, YOUR
TIME AT CAL STATE LA IS A PIVOTAL CHAPTER. DURING YOUR TIME HERE, WE
WITNESSED WORLD-CHANGING MOMENTS TOGETHER. CALIFORNIA BECAME THE WORLD’S
FIFTH LARGEST ECONOMY, EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES THAT AWAIT YOU AS
YOU GRADUATE. POLITICAL CHANGES ON THE
NATIONAL SCENE CREATED NEW PRIORITIES AND CHALLENGES, AND THE VOICES OF STUDENTS
DETERMINED TO SERVE THE PUBLIC GOOD BECAME AN EVEN MORE IMPACTFUL FORCE FOR CHANGE. DURING YOUR TIME HERE, ADVANCES
IN TECHNOLOGY GAVE US NEW TOOLS FOR TEACHING, NEW WAYS TO HELP
EDUCATE AND UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL OF STUDENTS, NEW WAYS TO MEET
THE CHALLENGES FACED BY URBAN SCHOOLS. AND YOU, CLASS OF 2018, YOU ARE
THE CREATORS OF TOMORROW. DURING YOUR TIME HERE, YOU EACH
EXPERIENCED A PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION AS PROFOUND AS
EVENTS WE LIVED THROUGH TOGETHER. YOU ARE NOT THE SAME PERSON YOU
WERE WHEN YOU FIRST SET FOOT ON CAMPUS. YOU CAME HERE WITH A PLAN TO
LEARN MORE, TO FOCUS YOUR MAJOR ON A CAREER PATH, OR PERHAPS TO
EMBARK ON A NEW ONE. YOU WILL LEAVE CAL STATE LA WITH KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCES THAT WILL HELP PROPEL YOU FORWARD INTO REWARDING CAREERS,
REWARDING RESEARCH, AND REWARDING PERSONAL AND
PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. I HOPE YOU’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER
THE FACULTY WHO TAUGHT AND MENTORED YOU AND HELPED YOU
BECOME THE ACCOMPLISHED GRADUATE YOU ARE TODAY, THE FRIENDS WHO
ENCOURAGED YOU, AND THE COMMUNITY THAT EMBRACED YOU. YOU SHARED IN IMPORTANT EVENTS
IN THE LIFE OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY. TOGETHER WE
CELEBRATED THE UNIVERSITY’S SEVENTIETH ANNIVERSARY. WE
LAUNCHED NEW INITIATIVES. AND WE STOOD IN THE SPOTLIGHT
WHEN A STUDY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES RANKED CAL STATE LA NUMBER
ONE IN THE NATION FOR THE UPWARD MOBILITY OF OUR STUDENTS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] GRADUATES,
THAT MEANS A BRIGHT FUTURE AWAITS YOU. TODAY YOU WILL BECOME ALUMNI OF
CAL STATE LA. YOU WILL JOIN THE RANKS OF MORE
THAN 245,000 ALUMNI OF CAL STATE LA AND THREE MILLION ALUMNI OF
THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM. OUR OUTSTANDING ALUMNI INCLUDE
TENNIS LEGEND BILLIE JEAN KING, CONGRESSWOMAN MAXINE WATERS, CONGRESSWOMAN
LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD, ASTRONAUT SAMUEL T. DURRANCE, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LEADER ISAAC LARIAN, SOMEBODY HAD THOSE DOLLS OUT
THERE. RALPH M. TERRAZAS, FIRE CHIEF OF THE LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT, MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY THAT OWNS
THE BAKERY. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] YEAH. I
FIGURED THERE WERE SOME CUSTOMERS IN THE ROOM. NOW ALL OF THESE GREAT PEOPLE
ARE YOUR FELLOW ALUMS. THE CLASS OF 2018 INCLUDES 106
VETERANS, WHO HAVE SERVED OUR NATION WITH VALOR AND THEN
RETURNED TO EARN A DEGREE. I WOULD LIKE PLEASE ALL OF THE
VETERANS IN THE ROOM WITH US TODAY, OUR GRADUATES, OUR
PARENTS, OUR FAMILY, OUR FRIENDS — ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE
SERVED THE COUNTRY AND ARE NOW
VETERANS, PLEASE STAND AND LET US ACKNOWLEDGE YOU. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE CHARTER
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION IS HOME TO OUR EXPERT, DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AND 1,700
STUDENTS WHO WILL BECOME THE EDUCATORS OF TOMORROW. IT’S HOME TO THE LOS ANGELES
URBAN TEACHER RESIDENCY PROGRAM, OKAY. THERE’S THE FAN CLUB.
DESIGNED TO EQUIP MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS TO THRIVE IN
HIGH-NEED URBAN SCHOOLS. AND IT’S HOME TO OUTSTANDING
STUDENTS, LIKE PAUL LUELMO, WHO UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF
EDUCATION TO UNLOCK A CHILD’S POTENTIAL. DRIVEN BY A DESIRE TO MAKE A
DIFFERENCE HERE AND IN MEXICO, PAUL HAS FOCUSED HIS WORK AND RESEARCH ON IMMIGRANT
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES. AS A MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, HE
WITNESSED THE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES FACED BY IMMIGRANT
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND MADE IT HIS MISSION TO HELP THOSE FAMILIES LEARN TO
NAVIGATE THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SYSTEM AND SERVE AS ADVOCATES
FOR THEIR CHILDREN. THROUGH HIS RESEARCH, PAUL ALSO
HOPES TO IMPROVE TRAINING FOR TEACHERS OF STUDENTS WITH AUTISM
IN MEXICO. TODAY PAUL GRADUATES WITH A
PH.D. IN SPECIAL EDUCATION. WHERE IS PAUL? THERE HE IS. IN THE FALL, HE WILL BECOME A
TENURE-TRACK PROFESSOR AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY. CONGRATULATIONS, DR. PAUL
LUELMO. THIS COLLEGE IS HOME TO STUDENTS LIKE GWENDOLYN SCOTT,
WHO ARE INSPIRED TO LEARN BY THEIR DESIRE TO HELP OTHERS. AFTER A LONG CAREER IN THE
BANKING INDUSTRY AND MANY YEARS SERVING AS A CAREGIVER, GWENDOLYN TOOK A JOB
AT A TRANSITIONAL CENTER IN SOUTH-CENTRAL LOS ANGELES, WORKING WITH
INDIVIDUALS WITH MODERATE AND SEVERE AUTISM AND BEHAVIORAL
PROBLEMS. SHE DISCOVERED THAT YOUTH NEED
SERVICES AFTER THEY AGE OUT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM AND FEW
PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE. SHE WANTED TO HELP FILL THAT NEED. GWENDOLYN INITIALLY CAME TO CAL
STATE LA TO EARN A CERTIFICATE, BUT CONVERSATIONS WITH SPECIAL
EDUCATION PROFESSOR JENNIFER SYMON CONVINCED HER TO PURSUE
MORE. GWENDOLYN IS A MOTHER, A
GRANDMOTHER, A GREAT-GRANDMOTHER, A FOSTER
MOTHER, AND SHE RIDES A CANDY-APPLE RED
MOTORCYCLE. AT 64 YEARS OLD, GWENDOLYN IS
THE OLDEST MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2018. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THAT MUST BE BACK THERE, RIGHT?
TODAY GWENDOLYN GRADUATES WITH A MASTER OF ARTS IN SPECIAL
EDUCATION WITH AN OPTION IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS. HER GOAL IS TO OPEN A
TRANSITIONAL DAY FACILITY FOR ADULTS WITH AUTISM AND SEVERE
BEHAVIORAL ISSUES. CONGRATULATIONS, GWENDOLYN. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] YOU
INSPIRE US ALL. GRADUATES, YOU ARE HEADED TO
COMMUNITIES THAT YOU WILL ENERGIZE AND EMPOWER WITH ALL
THAT YOU’VE LEARNED, WITH THE CAL STATE LA VALUES
THAT YOU CARRY, WITH YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A PART OF THIS
RICH INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITY. THAT’S WHY TODAY’S COMMENCEMENT
IS SUCH A MONUMENTAL DAY FOR COMMUNITIES ACROSS LOS ANGELES AND FOR WHEREVER YOU
CALL HOME. WHEN YOU WALK ACROSS THIS STAGE,
YOU’RE NOT JUST WALKING FOR YOURSELF. YOU’RE WALKING FOR THE PLACES
YOU LOVE. AND YOU HAVE A DEEP SENSE OF
PLACE THAT IS ROOTED HERE AT CAL STATE LA.
LAST MONTH WE LAUNCHED THE GREATEST FUNDRAISING EFFORT IN
THE UNIVERSITY’S HISTORY. WE CALL IT “WE ARE LA: THE
CAMPAIGN FOR CAL STATE LA. ” WE CHOSE THAT NAME BECAUSE
GRADUATES OF CAL STATE LA REPRESENT THE BEST OF LOS
ANGELES. BECAUSE OF THE DEDICATION AND
KNOWLEDGE YOU’RE CARRYING WITH YOU,
WHEREVER YOU’RE HEADED, WHEREVER YOU WILL LIVE AND WORK, THOSE PLACES AND THOSE PEOPLE
CAN LOOK FORWARD TO AN EVEN BETTER FUTURE
BECAUSE OF YOU. YOU’RE WALKING TODAY FOR THE PLACES YOU LOVE,
AND YOU’RE ALSO WALKING FOR THOSE WHO LOVE YOU. YOU DIDN’T
ACCOMPLISH THIS IMPORTANT GOAL ALONE. THOSE WHO YOU LOVE INSPIRED AND
MOTIVATED YOU. AND HELP YOU HOLD UP THROUGH THE
HARD TIMES. I’D LIKE ALL THE MOTHERS AND FATHERS OF GRADUATES
TO STAND. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] ALL RIGHT, LET’S OUT OF THE
GRANDMOTHERS AND GRANDFATHERS. GRANDMOTHERS AND GRANDFATHERS.
YOU TOO. EVERYBODY, STAY STANDING. AUNTS AND UNCLES,
PLEASE STAND. SISTERS AND BROTHERS. NIECES AND NEPHEWS, SPOUSES, CHILDREN AND FRIENDS OF THE
CLASS OF 2018, PLEASE STAND. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT
AND THE MANY WAYS YOU HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE FOR YOUR
GRADUATE. GRADUATES, IN THE STORY OF YOUR
LIFE, TODAY IS AN UNFORGETTABLE CHAPTER. TODAY YOU STAND ON THE PEAK OF A
GREAT MOUNTAIN, LOOKING AT THE WORLD
AND YOUR FUTURE. YOU SEE OTHER MOUNTAINS AROUND
YOU, THEY REPRESENT OTHER GOALS AND CHALLENGES. AS YOU FACE THOSE NEW MOUNTAINS,
THOSE NEW GOALS AND CHALLENGES, PLEASE REMEMBER, DON’T BE DAUNTED BY
THE HEIGHTS OF YOUR DREAMS AND CHALLENGES. DURING YOUR TIME
HERE, YOU’VE LEARNED HOW TO REACH THE TOP. ALWAYS REMEMBER — YOU ARE A
GOLDEN EAGLE AND YOU WILL SOAR! CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2018. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]
>>THANK YOU, PRESIDENT COVINO. IT’S AN HONOR TO INTRODUCE OUR
KEYNOTE SPEAKER, DR. ANA PONCE. FORBES MAGAZINE NAMED DR. ANA PONCE ONE OF THE SEVEN MOST
POWERFUL EDUCATORS IN THE WORLD. DR. PONCE IS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
OFFICER FOR CAMINO NUEVO CHARTER ACADEMY, A NETWORK OF CHARTER
SCHOOLS SERVING PRE-K THROUGH 12TH GRADE STUDENTS IN
THE GREATER MACARTHUR PARK AREA. UNDER HER LEADERSHIP, THE CAMINO
NUEVO SCHOOLS HAVE EARNED WIDESPREAD
ACCLAIM FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, PARTICULARLY FOR IMPROVING
OUTCOMES FOR LATINO ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS. THE SCHOOLS WON THE TITLE ONE
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF
BILINGUAL EDUCATION SEAL OF EXCELLENCE, AND THE
CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED SCHOOLS AWARD. DR. PONCE HOLDS A DOCTORATE IN
EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP FROM LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY. SHE EARNED MASTER’S DEGREES FROM
TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND UCLA. A VETERAN OF THE CHARTER SCHOOLS
MOVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA, DR. PONCE SERVES ON SEVERAL BOARDS,
INCLUDING THE BOARD OF THE CALIFORNIA CHARTER SCHOOLS
ASSOCIATION. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING DR. ANA PONCE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] BUENOS TARDES.>>IT TRULY IS A GREAT DAY WITH
MANY PEOPLE ON THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION. I AM HUMBLED TO HAVE
THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY STORY AND HOPEFULLY
INSPIRE YOU TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE COURAGEOUS AND A LITTLE BIT MORE WILLING TO
EMBRACE THE POWER OF YOUR POTENTIAL TO
AFFECT A CHANGE IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND ADULTS THROUGH YOUR WORK IN
EDUCATION AND/OR EDUCATION ADJACENT POSITIONS. MY
CONNECTIONS TO CAL STATE LA– THE ACCELERATED SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP — CHARTER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION FROM THERE, A TEAM OF
TEACHERS, INCLUDING JONATHAN WILLIAMS
VENTURED IT TO OPEN THE FIRST OF START UP CHARTER SCHOOL IN SOUTH
LA. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FACULTY. WE
PARTNERED AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, STUDENT
PROGRAMMING            PROGRAMMING, AND STUDENT
ENRICHMENT. SOME OF MY EARLY TEACHERS — ALL
FROM A SPEECH AT EDUCATION. THANK YOU. HE SHAPES ME, FOR
SURE. I HAVE MET INCREDIBLE EDUCATORS
AND ADVOCATES FOR KIDS HERE. AND HAVE HIGH HOPES FOR THIS AT
SCHOOL, AND THE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT IT
MAKES ON A DAILY BASIS. I AM PROUD OF SPEED FOR THE HIGHLY DIVERSE AND FOR ENROLLING 56% OF
FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS. INCLUDING MANY. THESE TWO DATA POINTS
ILLUSTRATES THE INSTITUTION’S COMMITMENT TO CHALLENGE THE TRENDS OF WHO HAS ACCESS TO
AND COMPLETES A ECOLOGY UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE. AND FOR
THAT, I AM THANKFUL. [APPLAUSE] I HAVE DEGREE PRIVILEGE TODAY TO
SHARE WITH YOU SOME LESSONS LEARNED
FROM MY JOURNEY. TO THE CEO OF THE ACADEMY. WHEN I STARTED IN
THIS JOURNEY, I HAD NO DIRECTION, NO PLAN AND VERY
LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF THE CULTURE OF POWER AND SYSTEMIC
MARGINALIZATION OF COMMUNITIES LIKE MINE. PERHAPS IT WAS MY NAIVETÉ AND
INTERNAL RAGE OF INJUSTICE AFTER
INJUSTICE THAT KEPT ME ON THE COURSE TO ATTAIN A COLLEGE
DEGREE AND FIND MY WAY TO A CAREER IN EDUCATION. A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I CAME
ACROSS THIS QUOTE. “COURAGE DOESN’T ALWAYS ROAR. SOMETIMES COURAGE IS THE LITTLE
VOICE AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT SAYS, I WILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW. ” IT RESONATED WITH ME BECAUSE
ROARING FOR JUSTICE DOES NOT ALWAYS MOVE OUR AGENDA FORWARD. IT IS NOT GIVING UP, IT IS
SHOWING UP AND TRYING AGAIN TOMORROW, AND
TOMORROW AND THE NEXT TOMORROW. AS I WAS FIGURING OUT MY
LEADERSHIP STYLE, I BECAME MORE AWARE OF MY PLACE IN THE
LANDSCAPE. THAT IS TO SAY, I BECAME MORE
AWARE OF MY INFLUENCE AND POWER AS WELL
AS THE MANY SYSTEMIC BARRIERS THAT WOULD BLOCK ME AS AN
IMMIGRANT, ENGLISH LEARNER, PERSON OF COLOR AND WOMAN. IT WAS NOT EASY. AND IT IS STILL
NOT EASY. IT’S JUST EASIER. AND YOU WILL LEARN TO NAVIGATE THE
SYSTEMS AS WELL. NOW, I AM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF
CAMINO NUEVO CHARTER ACADEMY, A NETWORK OF CHARTER SCHOOLS IN
THE GREATER MACARTHUR PARK COMMUNITIES OF CENTRAL LOS
ANGELES. CAMINO NUEVO CHARTER ACADEMY IS
A COMMUNITY OF HIGH-PERFORMING PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT UTILIZES A
COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO PREPARE STUDENTS FROM PRESCHOOL
THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE AND IN LIFE. WE INTEGRATE ACADEMIC RIGOR,
COMMUNITY, FAMILY, AND WELLNESS TO EMPOWER
STUDENTS TO THRIVE IN A CULTURALLY CONNECTED AND
CHANGING WORLD. WE OPENED OUR DOORS TO ABOUT 350 STUDENTS BACK IN AUGUST OF 2001,
AND IT TODAY, WE SERVE ACROSS EIGHT CAMPUSES AND HAVE OVER 1,000 ALUMNI
NAVIGATING THE HIGHER EDUCATION LABYRINTH AND IN THE WORKFORCE.
OUR STORY IS UNIQUE. WE WERE FOUNDED BY AN AUTHENTIC
AFFERENT LAND BY PARENTS TO CREATE A QUALITY NEIGHBORHOOD
SCHOOL THAT WAS SAFE, WELCOMING, AND CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE. BACK
IN 2000, WE DID NOT FIT INTO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL NARRATIVE BECAUSE
OUR EFFORTS WERE ANCHORED IN COMMUNITY, HUMANITY AND RIGOR. WE WERE ABOUT CREATING SHARED
OWNERSHIP IN COMMUNITIES FOR LEARNING, AND PARTNERING WITH
OUR FAMILIES IN AUTHENTIC WAYS. WE ARE ABOUT TENDING TO THE
WHOLE CHILD WHOSE FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ARE INTEGRAL FACTORS
IN THEIR SUCCESS. DESPITE EARLY CRITICISM THAT OUR
MODEL WOULD NOT WORK, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED GREAT SUCCESS IN
SUPPORTING OUR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES ON A COLLEGE TO
CAREER PATHWAY FOR ALL. OVER 90% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE
GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL EVERY YEAR. OVER 95% OF OUR STUDENTS
COMPLETE THE CURRICULUM. OVER 70% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTED
INTO A 4-YEAR COLLEGE OVER 90% OF OUR STUDENTS ENROLL IN HIGHER
EDUCATION AFTER GRADUATION. I BELIEVE CAMINO NUEVO CHARTER
ACADEMY IS A MODEL SYSTEM FOR EDUCATING POOR, ENGLISH LEARNER,
LATINO STUDENTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL. FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I
BELIEVED THIS TYPE OF SCHOOL SYSTEM COULD EXIST AND I PUT MY COURAGE TO MAKE IT
HAPPEN. I MADE TO THIS KIND OF SCHOOL
POSSIBLE BY FOCUSING MY ACTIONS ON WHAT
COULD BE DONE. I HELPED CREATE IT, WITH MANY OTHERS, BY HAVING
THE COURAGE TO STAY THE COURSE EVERY DAY AND ESPECIALLY AFTER
EVERY SET BACK, AND THERE HAVE BEEN MANY. BELIEVE IN WHAT IS POSSIBLE AND
NOT PROBABLE, DON’T SETTLE EVEN AGAINST THE GREATEST ODDS. I FOUND THE COURAGE AND BELIEF
IN MYSELF TO CREATE WHAT IS POSSIBLE THROUGH MY OWN STORY. BE COURAGEOUS. BELIEVE IN WHAT
IS POSSIBLE, NOT JUST PROBABLE. AND YOU WILL SURPRISE YOURSELF.
I AM AN IMMIGRANT, AND GREW UP AS A DREAMER. I WAS
UNDOCUMENTED. TO THIS DAY, I SEE AND DO MY WORK THROUGH THAT LENS
OF FEAR AND OPPORTUNITY. AND UNDERSTAND THE EMOTIONAL
TOLL IT TAKES TO FULLY ENGAGE IN SCHOOL AND IN COMMUNITY WHEN YOU
LIVE IN FEAR FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES. HOWEVER, I BELIEVE THAT MY
COURAGE, MY PASSION, MY STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE FOR THIS WORK, IS
ANCHORED IN MY “WHY. ” MANY OF YOU KNOW A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT MY STORY, AT LEAST WHAT YOU HAVE READ IN MY BIO, IF YOU
DID. AND THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT. IN TRUTH, MY STORY WAS STOLEN
FROM ME BY THE SYSTEM AND MY ECONOMIC CONTEXT. I HAD TO DISTANCE MYSELF FROM MY
STORY, MY IDENTITY, MY FAMILY TO
SURVIVE THE SYSTEM. IN SO MANY WORDS, I HAD AN IDENTITY CRISIS
WHEN I ARRIVED ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS AS A FRESHMAN. MY NAME CHANGED, MY ZIP CODE
“CHANGED,” I RESENTED MY FAMILY FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO GIVE ME
WHAT MY PEERS HAD. PEOPLE MADE UP WHERE I CAME FROM
BECAUSE IT WAS NOT THE PLACE REALLY KNEW OR WANTED TO KNOW
ABOUT. SO I CREATED A PARALLEL
IDENTITY, I MASTERED CODE SWITCHING BETWEEN PICO UNION AND
MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT. QUITE EXTREMES! AFTER A FEW YEARS OF STRUGGLE, I
SETTLED INTO MY TRUTH AND EMBRACED EVERY PIECE OF IT. AND IT HAS BEEN VERY CLEAR SINCE
THEN. I GREW UP IN PICO UNION, WEST OF DTLA AND 8 BLOCKS FROM
ONE OF MY SCHOOLS. MY FAMILY EMIGRATED FROM MEXICO WHEN I WAS
A YOUNG CHILD. I WAS THE YOUNGEST OF 7 CHILDREN AND THE
FIRST IN MY FAMILY TO ATTEND HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE. MY PARENTS WERE LOVING AND
HARD-WORKING — AND SURVIVED THE WORLD THAT EXISTS ON THIS SIDE
OF THE BORDER NOT KNOWING HOW TO READ OR WRITE. MY PARENTS NEVER
LEARNED ENGLISH. MY MOTHER’S SIGNATURE WAS AN “X. ” MY PARENTS LOVED ME AND WANTED
THE BEST FOR ME AS DEFINED BY THEIR CONTEXT AND REALITY. THEY VALUED EDUCATION IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT — HIGH SCHOOL
AND COLLEGE WERE NOT A REALITY FOR THEIR CHILDREN WHERE THEY
CAME FROM AND WHEN HERE, NO ONE CARED TO TAKE THE TIME TO SHIFT MY PARENT’S PARADIGM TO
THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED BY THIS COUNTRY’S EDUCATION SYSTEM. MY PARENTS’ LACK OF CONTEXT FOR
SCHOOLING CREATED A CHALLENGE FOR MY EDUCATIONAL TRAJECTORY
BECAUSE THEY DID NOT KNOW. THEY DID NOT KNOW HOW EDUCATION
COULD TRULY BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY AND NOT JUST GET ME ONE
STEP AHEAD OF WHERE THEY WERE. THEY DID NOT KNOW THAT I COULD
ACHIEVE BEYOND THEIR HIGHEST ASPIRATIONS. THEY JUST DID NOT
KNOW. SOME OF THE PARENTS AND FAMILIES
WE WORK WITH OR WILL WORK WITH IN URBAN EDUCATION JUST DO NOT
KNOW. AND UNFORTUNATELY, TOO MANY
TIMES, WE AS EDUCATORS JUDGE OUR FAMILIES INSTEAD OF SEEKING TO
UNDERSTAND AND PROVIDING THE INFORMATION AND/OR GUIDANCE
NEEDED. AS LEADERS, AND YOU WILL ALL
WALK OUT OF HERE AS LEADERS, WE MUST
REMEMBER THAT RESILIENCE VARIES FROM PERSON TO PERSON. WHILE ALL
CHILDREN COMING FROM CHALLENGING BACKGROUNDS NEED SUPPORT, SOME
JUST NEED MORE ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE SCHOOL/COMMUNITY
DEPENDENT WHO WILL NOT PREVAIL WITHOUT OUR SUPPORT. WE ALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
CORRECT A FALSE NARRATIVE AND CHANGE LIVES. TAKE THAT
OPPORTUNITY EVERY TIME IT CROSSES YOUR PATH WITH LOVE AND
CARE. I HAVE COME TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYTHING MY PARENTS AND
FAMILY DID WAS BECAUSE THEY LOVED ME AND CARED ABOUT ME,
EVEN WHEN IT CONFLICTED WITH WHAT WOULD BE BEST FOR ME. I
HAVE CORRECTED THAT FALSE NARRATIVE FOR MYSELF, AND I INTENDED TO
CORRECT IT FOR AS MANY PEOPLE AS I CAN. AND FROM ALL OF THESE
EXPERIENCES, WE LEARN AND WE GROW AS PEOPLE AND
AS LEADERS. WE ALSO ACQUIRE MORE PRIVILEGE AS WE PROMOTE THROUGH
THE SYSTEM. WHO I AM TODAY IS NOT WHO I WAS
WHEN I WAS A STUDENT. I AM NOW IN A POSITION OF
PRIVILEGE, AND MY LIFESTYLE REFLECTS THAT IN MANY WAYS.
NOTWITHSTANDING THAT I WILL ALWAYS EXPERIENCE LIFE AS AN
IMMIGRANT AND A LATINA WOMAN. MY STORY BROUGHT ME TO TODAY, AND I
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TELL YOU STORIES THROUGH MY WORK AND HOW I STAY
CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITIES I SERVE. I HAVE TO BE INTENTIONAL
ABOUT KNOWING WHEN TO SPEAK AND WHEN TO LISTEN. NOW THE STORIES
OF THOSE YOU LIVE WITH AND TO THOSE YOU SERVE      SERVE. OWN YOUR STORY AND TELL YOUR
STORY. HAVE THE COURAGE TO LISTEN TO THE STORIES, IDEAS AND
OPINIONS, AND LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND BOTH WHAT IS SAID AND
WHAT IS LEFT UNSAID. EVEN WHEN WE INCREASE THE
REPRESENTATION OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERS THAT LOOK LIKE THE
STUDENTS AND/OR COME FROM SIMILAR BACKGROUNDS, WE
HAVE TO CHALLENGE OURSELVES TO ALWAYS DO WITH AND NOT UNTO THE
COMMUNITIES WE SERVE. I KEEP THIS PHRASE PRESENT IN MY
WORK — “NOTHING ABOUT ME, WITHOUT ME. ” REMEMBER, ONCE WE BREAK
THROUGH THE SYSTEM AND WALK ACROSS A STAGE LIKE THIS, WE ARE
NO LONGER WALKING IN THE SHOES OF MANY STUDENTS ATTENDING
SCHOOLS IN URBAN SETTINGS. LET’S MAKE SURE THAT WE USE OUR
PRIVILEGE TO GIVE THEM A VOICE AND SEAT AT THE TABLE. KNOW YOUR STORY, AND HOW YOUR
STORY LED YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY. AND BE AWARE OF THE PRIVILEGE
YOU HAVE ACQUIRED BECAUSE IN AND BE SENSITIVE. AS PRESIDENT
OBAMA SAID, “CHANGE WILL NOT COME IF WE WAIT FOR SOME OTHER
PERSON OR IF WE WAIT WHAT FOR SOME OTHER TIME. WE ARE THE ONES
WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. WE ARE THE CHANGE THAT WE SEEK. ” YOU ARE THE NEXT WAVE OF
CHANGE TO IMPROVE THE EDUCATION AND
LIFE TRAJECTORY OF FUTURE EDUCATIONS. THE COURAGEOUS AND
BELIEVE IN THE CHANGE THAT YOU CAN AFFECT FOR YOURSELF AND
OTHERS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PASSION AND COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC
EDUCATION. FELICIDADES.>>THANK YOU, DR. PONCE. AMONG THE STUDENTS EARNING
BACCALAUREATE DEGREES ARE THOSE WHO WILL GRADUATE WITH ACADEMIC HONORS.
DR. DIANE FAZZI, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF THE CHARTER COLLEGE OF
EDUCATION, WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THESE STUDENTS. DR. FAZZI.>>THE UNIVERSITY GRANTS THE BACCALAUREATE DEGREE WITH LATIN
DESIGNATIONS SUMMA CUM LAUDE, MAGNA CUM LAUDE, OR CUM LAUDE TO
STUDENTS WHO HAVE MAINTAINED AN OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC RECORD
WHILE EARNING THEIR DEGREES. THESE STUDENTS WEAR GOLD BRAIDS
DRAPED ON THEIR BLACK GOWNS TO MARK THEIR OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC
ACCOMPLISHMENTS. >>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR
GRADUATION WITH HONORS PLEASE RISE AND BE RECOGNIZED? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>PLEASE BE SEATED. NOW, IT IS MY PLEASURE TO
INTRODUCE THE CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER OF THE UNIVERSITY, DR. LYNN MAHONEY, PROVOST AND VICE
PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS. DR. MAHONEY. [APPLAUSE]
>>PRESIDENT COVINO, I PRESENT TO YOU THE CANDIDATES FOR
DEGREES IN THE CHARTER COLLEGE OF EDUCATION. THEY HAVE MET ALL
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE DEGREES AND ARE
RECOMMENDED BY THE UNIVERSITY FACULTY WHO TAUGHT THEM.>>THE CANDIDATES FOR THE JOINT
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AT CALIFORNIA
STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES AND THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES WILL NOW BE HOODED ON STAGE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, SPECIAL
EDUCATION.>>ALL RIGHT, NOW THE CANDIDATES
FOR THE DOCTOR OF EDUCATION DEGREE AND EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP WILL BE
HUNTED ON STAGE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATIONAL
ADMINISTRATION.>>MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING
ENGLISH TO OTHER LANGUAGE SPEAKERS.>>MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION BECOME MASTER OF ARTS IN SPECIAL
EDUCATION.>>MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION.>>MASTER OF ARTS IN COUNSELING.>>BACHELOR OF ARTS IN URBAN
LEARNING>>ALL RIGHT, NOW, THE
CANDIDATES FOR THE BACCALAUREATE DEGREES WILL NOW BE PRESENTED ON
STAGE.>>BACHELOR OF SCIENCES IN
REHABILITATION PURPOSES. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>OKAY. ALL RIGHT. JUST TO SIT
DOWN FOR A MINUTE. THAT WAS THE DRESS REHEARSAL. COMMENCEMENT WILL BE BEGINNING
AND ANOTHER TEN — NO, NO. I LIKE THE CANDIDATES FOR THE
DOCTORAL DEGREES TO PLEASE RISE FOR THE
CONFERRAL OF DEGREES. BY THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY
THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND BY THE TRUSTEES OF THE CALIFORNIA
STATE UNIVERSITY, I HEREBY CONFER UPON YOU THE
DOCTORAL DEGREE FOR WHICH YOU QUALIFY,
WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND HONORS PERTAINING THERETO. CONGRATULATIONS. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR MASTER’S DEGREES PLEASE RISE FOR THE
CONFERRAL OF DEGREES? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] ALL RIGHT. OKAY. HERE WE GO. THE TRICK IT, KNOW, IS GETTING
THE HOOD ON CORRECTLY, AND YOU WILL DID BEAUTIFULLY. THAT WAS
THE FINAL EXAM. BY THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE STATE OF
CALIFORNIA AND BY THE TRUSTEES OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE
UNIVERSITY, I HEREBY CONFER UPON YOU THE MASTER’S DEGREE FOR
WHICH YOU QUALIFY, WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND HONORS
PERTAINING THERETO. CONGRATULATIONS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] ALL RIGHT,
WE ARE GOING TO ASK YOU TO BE SEATED, AND WE ARE GOING TO ASK THE
BACCALAUREATE DEGREES PLEASE RISE FOR THE CONFERRAL OF
DEGREES? ALL RIGHT. BY THE AUTHORITY
VESTED IN ME BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND BY THE TRUSTEES
OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, I HEREBY CONFER UPON
YOU THE BACCALAUREATE DEGREE FOR WHICH YOU QUALIFY, WITH ALL THE
RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND HONORS PERTAINING THERETO. GRADUATES, YOU CAN NOW MOVE YOUR
TASSEL. FROM THE RIGHT TO THE LEFT,
CONGRATULATIONS.>>YOU CAN SIT. VERY GOOD. ALL
RIGHT. NOW, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL
OF THE UNIVERSITY STAFF, FACULTY       
FACULTY, STUDENTS AND VOLUNTEERS INVOLVED IN ORGANIZING THE 2018 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY AND
ACKNOWLEDGE THE MEMBERS OF THE HONORS CONVOCATION AND
COMMENCEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE. LET’S GIVE THEM OUR THANKS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] ALL RIGHT.
ONE LAST PIECE OF BUSINESS. AT THIS TIME, THE UNIVERSITY HYMN
WILL BE PERFORMED BY CAL STATE LA STUDENT, ANA RANGEL, WHO WILL
BE ACCOMPANIED BY THE CAL STATE LA BRASS QUINTET. THE LYRICS MAY BE FOUND INSIDE
YOUR PROGRAM. [UNIVERSITY HYMN PLAYING] ALL HAIL TO THEE OUR ALMA MATER DEAR WE SING WITH FAITH AND PRIDE THY PRAISES FAR AND NEAR WE DEDICATE OUR LIVES TO TRUTH
AND PEACE AND RIGHT TO GIVE THE WORLD THE TORCH OF FREEDOM’S LIGHT HAIL, ALL HAIL [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] OH [MUSIC] [MUSIC]