Graduation: Parents Joining Kids on Stage

The Sherman High School Class Commencement | Image by Sara Carpenter/Shutterstock
The Sherman High School Class Commencement | Image by Sara Carpenter/Shutterstock

A new tradition of walking across the stage with loved ones during graduation acknowledges the contributions of family members to graduates’ success, reports USA Today:

“As Yanelit Madriz Zarate crossed the stage at a University of California, Berkeley, commencement ceremony this month, she reflected on the fits and starts in her educational journey: the mental and physical challenges that forced her to drop out after her first higher education stint in the California State system, the lessons she learned advocating for herself when she resumed at a community college and the empowerment she felt when she transferred to Cal.

“The 25-year-old also thought about the role her parents, immigrants from Mexico with just a middle school education, played in helping her get to graduation. So, it felt extra special – and extra fitting – that her parents got to join her on stage.

“Crossing the stage with her loved ones, a decades-old tradition embraced in the university’s Chicanx Latinx graduation, was something she looked forward to since she heard about the option years earlier. Madriz Zarate also made the moment her own: As her name was called out, she and her parents danced a zapateado, a traditional Mexican step.

“‘It was for the three of us,’ said Madriz Zarate, a sociology major who grew up in San Pablo, California, and works part-time in disability rights advocacy. ‘It feels like we’re finally being seen.’

“Like Madriz Zarate, hundreds of thousands of graduates are the first in their families to attend college. The number of first-generation applicants is growing at more than twice the rate of students whose parents have a degree, according to Common App data.”

To read the entire article on USA Today, please click HERE.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article