MSNBC, "82 Santa Ana High School Students Beat the Odds, Applauded by Orange County Community and Business Leaders"

Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs) Honor College-Bound Class of 2012 and Their Achievements as They Head to the Nation's Top Tier Universities



SANTA ANA, CA — 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.

Dr. Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Donald Cardinal, Dean of the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University, and Miguel Pulido, Mayor of the City of Santa Ana joined Nicholas Academic Centers' founders Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III and (retired) Judge Jack K. Mandel in applauding the college-bound NACs class of 2012. Each high school graduate was presented a certificate and a college sweatshirt from the university where they will be attending in fall. The list of prestigious universities where the NACs students were accepted includes University of Notre Dame, UCLA, Denison College and more.

"The road these students took to get where they are today was not easy," said Hugo Gutierrez, NACs' executive director and mentoring program alumnus. "During their sophomore and junior years of high school, they made a commitment to succeed beyond their wildest dreams and worked tirelessly to earn excellent grades and apply themselves to attend top colleges and universities around the country."

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