This past Saturday, San Juan Capistrano hosted its 58th annual Swallows Day Parade. Breakthrough SJC students and staff came together in true Breakthrough spirit to march and show the community what we are all about. The parade celebrates the return of the swallows to the San Juan Capistrano Mission. Thousands of people gathered to watch the parade, one of the largest non-motorized parades in the country.
The theme of this year’s parade was “Soaring with Swallows.” Subsequently, Breakthrough SJC’s theme was “Soaring to College.” Students met bright and early before the parade to get their faces painted with their future college logos and to practice cheers which they learned from the Breakthrough summer program. The mission bells rang out at 11:00 a.m. and signaled the start of the parade. According to eighth grade student Daniela Flores, “My favorite part was painting the college logos on our faces because it showed that Breakthrough students are always thinking about going to college in the future.”
The enthusiasm of the crowd and the students marching was overwhelming. Thank you to the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association for organizing and presenting the Swallows Day Parade and for inviting Breakthrough SJC to participate.
Middle and high school students from around Orange County gathered at the University of California, Irvine for the Resistance Youth Conference. The conference was designed to provide students with informational workshops on college admissions, to educate students on Chicano history, and to help young students on their path to higher education.
Freshman Katie Muniz attended the event along with her family. Katie’s older sister, Cinthia, is a former Breakthrough student and now attends UC Merced. According to Katie, “my brother thought that spray painting was an interactive and fun experience and enjoyed participating in it. My mom thought it was a great learning experience and she would love to attend next year.” Included in the conference was expression of culture through spray paint, a group dance where students were able to express themselves through movement, and a workshop about A-G college requirements.
Thank you UCI for holding the Youth Conference and for including Breakthrough students in your event.
We are pleased to announce our very own Maritza Garcia received the 2015 Youth of the Year award. Each year, the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley chooses one member (ages 14-18) from the Club to receive the award. The Youth of the Year is selected after participating in an in-house competition where each candidate is judged on three essays, a three minute speech on how the Club has impacted their lives, an interview process, their community involvement, and their transcripts. In addition to being the Club representative, the Youth of the Year receives a scholarship and competes in the Orange County Youth of the Year competition.
Maritza is a senior at San Juan Hills High School and is part of multiple education and community related organizations throughout the San Juan Capistrano community, including Breakthrough and Keystone Club (a youth-led leadership program run through the Boys & Girls Club). Maritza is a talented young lady and has been accepted to multiple colleges, including George Fox University and her top choice, Gordon College where she plans on majoring in business.
Maritza explains “[the Youth of the Year Award] is an opportunity to represent the place I call my home. I have been a member for ten years and the Club to me is the one place where I can fully express who I am and expand in my leadership skills.” Maritza will be the first in her family to attend college and we are so proud of her.
The Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley is a valued partner with Breakthrough and provides access for our tutoring program, open house, and facility usage. A huge thank you to the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley for being such incredible partners and congratulations Maritza for receiving the Youth of the Year award.