Written by Mishelle Jurado, Giancarlo Orozco, Angel Anaya, Vianney Ramos Jackelyn Olivas Ruiz
Vianney and Jackelyn as Sophomores presenting their testimonios they created in 10th grade Spanish Language Arts, all are now seniors who have presented the portfolios. Their teachers Jessica Cano and Mishelle Jurado help guide the bilingual program at Atrisco Heritage Academy.
On this addition of Seal of Biliteracy Stories, we are featuring an article written by students and their teacher who are about to receive their bilingual seal. This article discusses their journey and what it meant for them.
For 80 seniors at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, the bilingual seal portfolio has added an additional weight of stress during their last year of high school. They have just begun to realize (even through their tears) the birth of their critical voice, as it becomes their strength for the rest of their lives.
The bilingual seal portfolio process is a beautifully complicated assessment that dual language students encounter their senior year in Albuquerque Public Schools, although they have been preparing for it since freshmen year. They are encouraged throughout the years to be ready, however, it is nonetheless, an engaging and emotional process. Here are four students; voices whose testimonios will give you a small look into what it takes to prepare for this inspiring assessment.
Giancarlo Orozco, during the New Mexico DECA Award Ceremony 2019, held in Hotel Albuquerque, he was awarded a medal for being among the top 10 students who scored the highest on their test in Human Resource Management.
Before I was fully introduced to the bilingual seal during my senior year, I was forced to decide whether I would pursue it or not right off the bat. There were many positive aspects that impacted my decision to do my bilingual seal, while many others seemed in opposition to the idea. There was certainly a lot of pressure from my family because they received their bilingual seals and are succeeding greatly as a result. However, there were teachers and fellow students who were against it because they saw no major impacts, calling it "a waste of time". I wanted to show the people who supported my pursuit of the seal, that I am capable of presenting myself in a complex and complicated manner. Therefore, I ultimately decided to pursue my bilingual seal for myself and for my family.
Angel Anaya, pictured here with her family
While others were out enjoying the present state of their lives, I was preparing for my future; skipping out on family time and get togethers with friends, to work on what is important to me and who I want to be. Countless nights being bound to my computer and just letting my thoughts run, reflecting on every subject since I first entered high school. Times where my dad would be working to improve our house, not complaining but supporting my decision to tell our story and grow as a student. The days of staying in and not playing my favorite sports to show how much the story means to me, is quite worth every single sacrifice I have made.
At a taping for the next episode of Comida y Consejos, airing June 12th! Pictured (right to left) Lauren Harris, Assistant Editor of DualLanguageSchools.org, Jackelynn, senior at Atrisco Heritage, Iran Tovar, Consultant at CAL, and Vianney, senior at Atrisco Heritage.
Mi mamá siempre me empujó a ser alguien en la vida, ella quizás no tuvo todo pero por su familia se arriesgó a venir a los Estados Unidos para mejorar nuestro futuro. Al llegar a los Estados Unidos aprendí hablar inglés, dominar dos lenguajes sin problema. Aún recuerdo cuando mi mamá me decía "ándale mija ordena por mi no se como decirlo" ni yo lo quería decir pero poco a poco nos fuimos enseñando una a la otra . Ser bilingüe te reta, incluso tener una mente más abierta, abre nuevas oportunidades, siempre y cuando uno tenga una mente positiva , ganas y respeto. Seguire pasando mi bilingüismo a futuras generaciones que me motivan a seguir, es algo tan bello de ver como avanza nuestra cultura y lenguaje. Al haber terminado mi sello, mi siento tan orgullosa de mi misma, de ver cuanto he aprendido durante toda mi vida en la preparatoria, aunque me queda mucho más por aprender. Todos tenemos diferentes desafíos que enfrentar durante el proceso del sello bilingüe, pero la concentración, el orgullo, apoyo de nuestras familias, amigos, maestros y la consistencia creó un espacio para formar mi lugar, mi voz, y mi futuro.
Continue reading to learn more about the process these students faced in their pursuit of the bilingual seal...