Student’s Latinx heritage celebrated during a graduation ceremony hosted by USU Latinx Cultural Center.

LOGAN — Tears and words of gratitude filled Utah State University’s Big Blue Room as the USU Latinx Cultural Center hosted a bilingual ceremony celebrating graduating Latinx students and their families Wednesday night.

This is not only very emotional but very rewarding,” Latinx Cultural Center Director Christopher Gonzalez said. “Each of you has a story and we got to hear just a little bit of your story.”

The graduates were recognized during the ceremony and given a stole, a sash worn over the robe recognizing and celebrating the graduates’ Latinx identity with a sarape like design.

The graduates were able to address their family and friends, many graduates expressed their gratitude for all the love and support they received during their university journey.

Latinx students celebrating their achievements.

Gonzalez said that while the event was for the graduates, it was also for the parents because they wanted family members feel like a part of their student’s journey and feel like they are appreciated.

“Yes, it is for our graduates,” Gonzalez said. “But it’s really for their families because the graduates get their moments to shine when they actually get their diploma when they walk the stage.”

Coordinator of Program for the Latinx Cultural Center Pam Allcott said parents should recognize the effort they put into their child’s secondary education journey.

“This isn’t just an effort of the students but also the parents,” Allcott said. “The support you give in the way you can. Enjoy the achievements of your students.”

USU graduate Ivanna Fuentes said she is grateful to be able to be recognized because of the sacrifices she had to make.

“For me, it has been a great achievement,” Fuentes said. “It cost me a lot of sacrifice and many lost nights and days I thought I couldn’t and continuing on.”

USU College of Humanities & Social Sciences Valedictorian Carina Linares said the whole university experience has been a positive experience because she was able to find a mentor who is also a Latina as well.

“This whole experience has been a great honor,” Linares said. “I think for me, the most important thing of being Latina and graduating from here is all the opportunities I’ve had here and to find a mentor who is Latina and she helped me and guided me in my university career.”

Linares was not able to make the ceremony due to a schedule conflict but Gonzalez still celebrated her achievements. Linares stopped by the event later in the evening to thank Gonzalez, Allcott and USU Latino Programs Specialist Celina Wille, PhD.

Linares said having a resource like the Latinx Cultural Center helps many students by helping them find and use the resources available to them.

“For us, it’s hard for us to find how to go to the university because we don’t have the same opportunities and the parents that have gone to the university to guide us to apply,” Linares said. “There are resources for students to find those guides.”

Gonzalez concluded the event by encouraging students to tell their stories to the community.

“Tell people your story,” Gonzalez said. “It’s very important that people know what you went through to get to this point in your life.”

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