PCC’s Latinx Graduation to Celebrate a Culture and Community of Achievement

Published : Tuesday, June 4, 2019 | 6:29 PM

Latinx students at Pasadena City College (PCC) will celebrate their graduation, community, and culture at a campus celebration Friday, June 7.

Latinx Graduation is billed as, “a celebration that builds community and a sense of familia for PCC Latinx students, and strives to empower students to be the agents for social change in their lives, in their families and in their communities.”

The term “LatinX” is intended as a gender neutral one. The default usage would be “Latino,” which, in Spanish, corresponds to the masculine, thereby excluding the feminine.

The federal government categorizes PCC as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and 51 percent of its 30,000 students identify as Latinx.

Graciela Caringella has been a student at PCC, on and off for 20 years, and an employee for the past 10 years. She is a working mother with two children that have autism who was chosen through a competitive selection process to give one several student speeches at the celebration.

She also got $1,000 for her efforts though she is adamant the honor is more enriching than the purse.

It is the third time PCC is throwing a Latinx celebration. Caringella said she will ask the audience to look at one another, to see how they each have a story to tell, and are representative of many different roles beyond student; be it mother, father, son or daughter.

“I will go through examples of the different types of barriers Latinx students face,” she explained, “specifically not knowing English, waking up at four in the morning to commute to an 8 a.m. class, not being able to spend time with their own children because they have a final exam.”

Caringella knows of what she speaks, as she attended a statistics class at PCC some four hours after her father’s casket was lowered into his grave.

The theme to her talk, she said, is overcoming obstacles with advice from the famous Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez: “No hay que saber llegar primero, pero hay que saber llegar” (You don’t need to know how to get their first, but you need to know how to get there).

The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in PCC’s Sexson Auditorium, Building C, Horace Mann, 1570 East Colorado Blvd. RSVPs to date suggest the venue, which holds 1,964 people, will be filled to capacity, according to Caringella, who is a human resources technician at the college.







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