On May 24, 2015, the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program held its annual High School Filipino/a Graduation of San Diego County at the Downtown Central Public Library. It was the biggest and best HS FilGrad yet with a record number of participants and an excellent keynote address delivered by Councilmember Todd Gloria.
The event began with a performance by the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble, which presented gong-chime music and dances from the southern Philippines. FilGrad participants then processed into the beautiful Shiley Suite to the sound of traditional kulintang music before the winners of the Filipino American Educator Association’s (or Filameda) scholarships were introduced. Filameda has been a long-time collaborator of KAMP in presenting HS FilGrad. Another scholarship was also presented by KAMP’s Executive Director, Dr. Amanda Solomon Amorao, on behalf of UCSD Kaibigang Pilipino and the Ruanto-Maguilat Foundation to a high-achieving, incoming UCSD freshman.
FilGrad hosts Kuya John Camero and Kuya Sean Tangco then introduced the 2015 HS FilGrad speaker, Councilmember Todd Gloria. Gloria has served as the representative for the City of San Diego’s Third Council District since December 2008. He was selected by the City Council as its President in 2013 and 2014 and served as Interim Mayor of the City of San Diego from August 30, 2013 until March 2, 2014. Councilmember Gloria delivered an inspirational speech, encouraging students to find their passions and contribute to their communities.
After the keynote, HS FilGrad participants took to the stage and gave short speeches thanking their families, friends, teachers, and counselors for support. Each participant then received a handmade stole of Philippine batik fabric, a certificate of recognition, an HS FilGrad 2015 necklace created by Filipino Brand, and a swag bag donated by the Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society. This is the heart of HS FilGrad – the opportunity to personally recognize and celebrate the amazing students in our community and show them our support as they begin their exciting journeys after high school. HS FilGrad conveys how proud the community is of what these students have already accomplished and how we look forward to all that they will still accomplish – all the good that they will do not just for themselves or their families but also for others.
KAMP’s vision is to empower a new generation of leaders, inspiring them to contribute to their communities and act for social justice. KAMP thanks that amazing community partners who helped make HS FilGrad 2015 possible: