MSNBC, "82 Santa Ana High School Students Beat the Odds, Applauded by Orange County Community and Business Leaders"
Behind each beaming smile is a story of rising above challenges and exceeding the potential to achieve academic success, independence and pride. From hopelessness to self-determination, 82 high school graduates from Santa Ana received well-deserved recognition at the 4th Annual Nicholas Academic Centers' Graduation Celebration held at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.
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What the Letters on the Sweaters Really Say: A Look at the 4th Annual NAC Graduation Celebration
On Saturday, June 9, 2012, over 400 people gathered at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa to celebrate the accomplishments of the NAC’s 81 graduating seniors from the 2012 class. Friends, family, high school counselors & administrators, community leaders, and more shared an evening of great music, delicious food, and inspiring stories and speeches.
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From Santa Ana to Georgetown with Class of 2010 NAC Alum Mariana Hernandez
Since the doors of NAC I opened in 2008, many students have passed through its halls. They come from different backgrounds and join for different reasons, but they are united in their purpose – their desire to overcome the odds and make college a reality. Most NAC students juggle an incredible amount of responsibilities and make sacrifices daily in pursuit of their educational goals. One such student, NAC alum Mariana Hernandez, did just that while earning the title of Valedictorian of Santa Ana High School in 2010. She managed to balance her class schedule with sports (Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Track and Field), clubs (MESA Club President, Mui Alpha Theta Match Society President, Go-Green Recycling Club President, California Scholastic Federation Vice President, Freshmen Mentor Program member, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes member), and afterschool programs (Nicholas Academic Centers, of course). Mariana’s hard work paid off when she gained admission to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. What she has done at Georgetown is no less impressive than what she did during her time at the NAC.
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NAC Senior Ashley Blanco & Her Team Win the National "Cooking Up Change" Competition in D.C.
Recently, Ashley and her classmates/teammates, Alex Hernandez and Ivan Lopez capitalized on their culinary skills and entered the “Cooking Up Change” competition, a national campaign created to advocate for “policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment.” This is the campaign’s first year in California, an expansion made possible by sponsorships from Kid Healthy and Northgate Markets.
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The Final Visiting Scholars Series Lecture of the School Year Promises to Leave a Lasting Impression
The Nicholas Academic Centers' "Chapman University Visiting Scholar Series" returns on Saturday, May 12th. The lecture, titled “Impressions Count: Business & Professional Skills for Your College Career and Beyond,” is the last Chapman lecture of the season.
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The Final Visiting Scholars Series Lecture of the School Year Promises to Leave a Lasting Impression
The Nicholas Academic Centers' "Chapman University Visiting Scholar Series" returns on Saturday, May 12th. The lecture, titled “Impressions Count: Business & Professional Skills for Your College Career and Beyond,” is the last Chapman lecture of the season.
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A Small Fish Makes Good in a Big Pond: Catching Up with 2011 NAC Alum, Mariela Garcia
In 2011, after spending three years with the NAC, Mariela Garcia graduated from Century High School in Santa Ana and prepared for life at Cal State University, Fullerton (CSUF). With an enrollment rate of over 36,000 students in the fall of 2011, CSUF challenged Mariela’s self-proclaimed “fear of strangers” and made clear it would take an exceptional student to stand out in such a large pond. But then again, Mariela is a NAC Alum.
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Say Hello to Santa Ana High School's Newest Junior Class President, Jasmine Davalos
NAC sophomore, Jasmine Davalos, recently won the office of Junior Class President at Santa Ana High School. A veteran of the varsity cross-country team, the junior varsity soccer team, and the varsity track and field team, “running” for office seemed a natural thing for Jasmine to do. In all seriousness, however, she felt her leadership skills would allow her to represent her class effectively and make sure events like the Senior Prom and the Annual Fashion Show are the best they can be. Her teachers agreed, and with their letters of recommendation, she began her candidacy. Jasmine will be placed in ASB next year and start her duties as Junior Class President.
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NAC Senior, Sandra Parra, Earns a Place in UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures
It’s true that many talented and driven individuals pass through the NAC halls on their way to success in the realm of higher education, but we are especially proud of NAC senior, Sandra Parra, for pursuing her goals and dancing her way into UCLA. In the fall, UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures will welcome Sandra in what we’re sure will be the start of an amazing college experience. The NAC recently interviewed Sandra to get her perspective on getting into UCLA.
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One Door Closes and Another Opens: Spotlight on NAC Alum Jessica Aquino
In August, 2011, when NAC alum, Jessica Aquino, found out the internship she had prepared for fell through, she did what we hope all NAC students would do: She took advantage of the time she had available and found another opportunity to put her talents to work, and at the same time had a life-changing experience. The following is an interview with Jessica Aquino about this experience.
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NAC Alum, Favie Silva, Leads a Community Clean-Up in Santa Ana
Recently, Nicholas Academic Centers Class of 2010 alum, Favie Silva, decided to set an example for a younger cousin by organizing a community clean up effort: “I started this project because of my cousin, Ariel. I walk him to school every morning, and one particular morning, he said to me, ‘Hey, Favie; look, those kids over there dropped trash on the sidewalk. Why didn’t they put it in the trash cans?’” Favie didn’t know how to answer, and she was moved when her cousin spoke again: “Well, this place is a trash can because there’s trash everywhere.” She thought to herself, “He’s right.”
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The Chapman University Visiting Scholars Series Returns to the Nicholas Academic Centers April 14
The Chapman Visiting Scholar Series returns April 14, this time to discuss the "Science of Art." The lecture will provide students an opportunity to understand the collaboration required to mount a production within the entertainment industry. Emphasis will be placed on the amalgamation of Performance and Entertainment Technology. Through this lecture, the implementation of technology within the entertainment industry will be discussed, along with career opportunities within the burgeoning fields of Entertainment Technology and Entertainment Engineering.
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Dr. Jennifer H. Waldeck Speaks the Truth to NAC Students About Communication
In the last lecture of the Chapman Visiting Scholars Series for the school year, Dr. Jennifer Waldeck stressed the importance of being able to communicate willingly and effectively with the Nicholas Academic Centers’ students. Dr. Waldeck, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Chapman University, used the concepts from her co-authored book, Business and Professional Communication in a Digital Age to examine the role communication plays in people’s everyday lives.
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