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The National Bank of Arizona sponsors the Alhambra College Preparatory High School "Future Ready Campaign Kickoff", Monday, June 28, 2010.
Guests arrive from all segments of the community.
The National Bank of Arizona Conference Center off 24th Street just south of Lincoln was an ideal gathering site for this fundraiser.
Miracle Mile Delicatessen provided the food and drink for everyone to enjoy during the presentation.
Yvonne Watterson, Principal at Alhambra College Preparatory School (Far left in turquoise dress) had spoken to Deborah Bateman, Executive Vice President, National Bank of Arizona, (Photo below with Claude Mattox) only 26 days earlier and together they made all the arrangements for this incredible community informative program.
Persons like Claude Mattox, Phoenix City Councilman, District 5, and Stella Pope Duarte, Phoenix author, with many others were able to clear their agendas to attend this fund raising and community awareness event.
Leticia de la Vara, Community Initiatives Officer at ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights, along with Mari Alvarado, Alhambra, School District No. 68, Governing Board Member, were present to support the work of Yvonne Watterson at this important luncheon.
Ms. Bateman introduced Yvonne (Photo above) acknowledging the many honors Ms. Watterson has received during the past couple of years: YWCA award for Social Justice and Arizona Department of Education award for her leadership over the years (just to list a couple); including her responsibilities at this new school of 115 freshmen: Alhambra College Preparatory High School.
Ms. Watterson discussed the Mission of the 15 teachers and administrative staff: Providing students an opportunity to achieve high school and college academic success simultaneously, to explore and pursue civic, community, cultural and career aspirations and to prepare themselves for post secondary success in a supportive and academically challenging environment.
This kind of work is done through the application of studies that engage students through processes of RIGOR; RELEVANCE and RELATIONSHIPS. Throughout the presentations Thank You’s were extended to all members of the community who assist in supporting and promoting the mission and goals of ACP.
Dr. Jim Rice, Superintendent, Alhambra Elementary School District, spoke about the success of this program where students can earn college credits and at the same time achieve a sense of community through the community service work each youth will perform.
(College classes are offered through a dual enrollment agreement with Glendale Community College, and scholars begin taking college classes in the second semester of the 9th grade.)
Attention was then directed to one young man who is exemplary in how this kind of process has been successful for him, Jose Razo, 2008 City of Phoenix, Young Man of the Year. Jose revealed his story and the opportunities provided him to become the successful young adult he is today with aspirations of going to Harvard. One of the most important aspects of this kind of school programming is the mentoring these youth receive from caring and successful adults who are committed to working alongside these students to give them a sense of purpose and discipline as they move forward with their education.
Each guest speaker was introduced by a current student at ACP (who has achieved 4 college credits this year) and an acknowledgement of their dreams for the future as professionals in our community and state. This is accomplished by removing the obstacles and bringing college classes to high school youth.
Phoenix City Councilman from District 5, Claude Mattox, reiterated the concept that "If you commit yourself to be successful, you can achieve success!" He is proud of the work this community is doing to create a safe and accessible space in higher education for each teenager.
Ms. Bateman thanked everyone for coming and requested that those who could provide funding to support this school’s endeavors, to please do so. Tax credits are invaluable to these academic institutions. She then visited with the ACP students to affirm her commitment to their continuing education and success in the community where they live.
Graduate students like Dulce Juarez and Silvia Rodriguez were also in attendance to bring encouraging words to these youth.
It takes a whole community to raise and educate our children in today's world. Yvonne Watterson is committed to this task in a creative and innovative manner. Our city is very fortunate to have her and her staff working with smiles and joy in their hearts to bring this reality to many of our young people.
Alhambra College Prep
3802 West Maryland Ave
Phoenix, Arizona, 85019
Review submitted by judy butzine
Cultural Arts Coalition co-director
The Cultural Arts Coalition staff and artists will be working with the ACP students in the fall, examining and exploring the arts as tools for identifying "Acts of Peacebuilding".