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Cholla International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme celebrates its students

Posted April 9, 2015

More than 500 students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Cholla Magnet High School gathered Thursday to celebrate seniors who have been accepted to colleges and students who exemplify the traits on which the program is built.

Eduardo Corrales, an alumnus of the IB program at Cholla, encouraged the students to stick with the IB program even when it gets really tough. He said he remembers studying until three in the morning and told the students that those late nights prepared him for the demands of college.

Though he was tempted to quit the IB program at times, including during his senior year,he urged students to keep going and promised them that meeting the challenges would be worth it in the end.

"One thing that IB did teach me is time management and to keep pushing forward," he said. "You have to keep pushing forward."

Eduardo is now a student at the University of Arizona working toward his nursing degree. He earned scholarships, including the Wildcat Excellence Scholarship, to pay for his education, is on the Dean's List and is a Cadet Corporal in the Army ROTC.

He asked the students in the audience how many will be the first to attend college in their families. Several hands shot up. Eduardo said he was the first in his family to finish high school and the first to go to college.

"If you stick with the IB program, go to college," he said.

Dawn Garcia, a junior, is pursuing that track. She plans to get business and culinary degrees and open her own business, perhaps featuring pumpkin pie bread, one of her specialties.

Garcia said she has gotten used to the IB workload and sees it as offering a pathway to her dream school, Grand Canyon University.

"It's a really great program to open doors for students, especially for students like me who don't have all the money in the world," Dawn said. She was recognized for all of the 10 IB traits.

Many of the seniors currently enrolled in the IB program are on their way to universities in Arizona and across the nation. During the assembly, those destinations were celebrated.

Students have been accepted at the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, New Mexico State, Grand Canyon University, the University of Oregon, Hardin Simmons University, Arizona Christian, Seton Hall University and Berklee College of Music.

Next, were the trait recognitions. Students who exemplify each of the traits were called to the stage. At the end, students who exhibit all 10 traits were called up to the cheers of their friends in the audience.

Jeremiah Laurelez, a sophomore who was recognized for exhibiting all 10 traits, is hoping to go to the University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University to pursue an engineering degree.

"It feels great to be in the IB program because it provides opportunities for college."

His friend Joshua Gomez, who is also a sophomore, was recognized for the trait of open-mindedness said he thinks he was nominated because he easy to talk to and is comfortable expressing himself with words.

While he said the IB program can be challenging at times, in the long run he knows it well help him in the future. Joshua hopes to go to the University of Arizona and plans to be a video game designer.

One of the best things about Cholla's IB program is that it provides an opportunity to make long-lasting connections.

"Teachers connect more with students than in regular programs," Joshua said, "and students connect as a family."

 Cholla IB Program
 Dawn Garcia
Dawn Garcia, Cholla IB Student
 Jeremiah Laurelez and Joshua Gomez
Jeremiah Laurelez and Joshua Gomez
Corina Oroz and Lizbeth Sanchez
 Corina Oroz and Lizbeth Sanchez
 Anthony Holman and Julian GarciaCrystal Fuentes karger, Sa'id Patrick, Aleida Murillo, Elizar Olivares
Anthony Holman and Julian Garcia , Crystal Fuentes karger, Sa'id Patrick, Aleida Murillo, Elizar Olivares