NEWBURGH – San Miguel Program, the 12-year human services and education program that begins with at-risk middle school boys, working with them through all phases of the education process for high school and college, held it’s graduation ceremony for San Miguel Academy graduates on June 3rd.
Featured on the cover of Times Herald Record and on Hudson Valley News 12 for it’s exceptional Rowing Program and the ability to maintain in-person learning the entire school year, San Miguel Program has faced the challenges of COVID-19 head on. Keeping their doors open the entire school year for all middle schoolers, adding girls to their 5th grade class this year, and providing workspace for fitness and returning graduates to complete high school and college online, Class of 2021 middle, high school and college graduates have much to celebrate.
San Miguel Academy’s extraordinary ceremony emphasized the pride it takes in its students at every step of the way and to inspire the greater Newburgh community to overcome challenges and break the cycle of poverty through education. Commencement speakers were all graduates of San Miguel Academy:
-Cory Arias, SMA Class of 2016, Saint Benedict’s Preparatory 2020: addressed the SMA 8th graders on the one-year anniversary of being burned over 90% of his body by a high voltage utility wire. Cory has regained his full strength and will be attending the Virginia Military Institute in the fall. With no expectations of a full recovery from his doctors, Cory encouraged the graduates that giving up is never an option.
-Na’sah Dabbs, SMA Class of 2017, Canterbury School Class of 2021: also known as the graduate who turned down Cornell University for Boston College. Na’sah graduated with a 4.3 GPA and a number of distinct awards.
-Ensign Luis Jiminez, SMA Class of 2013, Canterbury School Class of 2017, SUNY Maritime Class of 2021: who recently received his stripes at San Miguel Academy is scheduled to leave next week for training in San Diego to be stationed as a naval officer in Japan later this year.
-Avante Walker, SMA Class of 2015, Marvelwood School Class of 2019, Niagara University Class of 2023: a standout student on Niagara University campus involved in Multi-Cultural Affairs as a marketing chair, holds leadership in the Black Student Union, Orientation Committee and Sports Management Association Club.
The students and graduates of San Miguel Program truly defy the odds stacked against them with the everyday struggles being under-served in their community and adding the devastating pandemic makes this year’s graduation ceremony especially unique and heroic.
The Class of 2021
Adan Aguilar- Church Farm School
Manuel Castillo – The Mount Academy
Joshua Cervantes – The Mount Academy
Carlos Enamorado – Newburgh Free Academy
Rogelio Giron-Luna – Newburgh Free Academy West
Alexis Gunera – Church Farm School
Angel Martinez – Newburgh Free Academy
George Mendoza – Millbrook School
Derry Moran – The Mount Academy
Fernando Robles – Excelsior Academy
Brandon Rodriguez – Canterbury School
Jamie Ruiz – St. Benedict’s Preparatory
Joshua Ruiz – Milton Hershey High School
Axel Vasquez – Newburgh Free Academy West