El Paso Leadership Academy Honors Students in Emotional Ceremony

Photo Credit: Steven Cottingham – EP Herald Post

Friday afternoon, the El Paso Leadership Academy held their CRSHH – Collaboration, Responsibility, Smarts, Humble, Hungry – Assembly and I was able to join the 6th and 7th graders during the gathering.

Julian Casillas is the operations director of EPLA and gave me the run down of what the assembly is.

“So today we are doing one of our weekly celebrations,” he says. “Every single week we identify one scholar at the end of the assembly. We also recognize others during the ceremony.”

During the seventh-grade assembly, teachers recognized a group of students for having read an amazing number of books. Each was given a certificate and were also recognized by their fellow students as well!

The students, that’s what was amazing about each of the assemblies. The students care for each other, actually took the time also to recognize and celebrate those who were recognized.

“We need to ensure our scholars feel empowered every day they walk in the door,” says Julian. “No matter what is happening at home or in the world, they need to feel this is a safe space. We feel that celebrating the end of rounding out the week is a great way to send them off for the weekend and get them ready for Monday.”

Though the El Paso Leadership Academy is a relatively new school, they are going full out in preparing these kids for a future, no matter what it holds.

The sixth graders, I discovered, were given an assignment that is due very soon. That assignment? They had to create a game.

Yep, a game.

Coach Cruz is the one who gave the students the assignment. Can you imagine? Being in the sixth-grade and having to come up with your very own game. Why didn’t I come to school here when I was younger?

Listening to all the teachers speak about their students I am left in awe. Each of these teachers gives their all, every single day, to each one of their students. The students, no matter what they are facing, come at it with drive, passion and a desire to succeed.

The CRSHH winners deserve our recognition as well.

For the eighth-grade the winner Monse Munoz (not pictured). For the seventh grade, it was John Caldwell. From listening to his teachers, watching how emotional they became, you could tell that not only have they made an impact on his life, he made on theirs as well. (Ok, even I began to tear up a bit…alright…I cried along with everyone else!)

The sixth-grade winner was Isabela Quinonez. She was all smiles when they called her name, as she walked up and accepted her shirt.

If you are looking for a school that is college focused, at all levels, then give the El Paso Leadership Academy a look.