Headed For High Goals

by Kerri Fernsworth '02

Fourth grade students from throughout Azusa were excited to graduate from the Azusa Pacific-sponsored College Headed and Mighty Proud (C.H.A.M.P.) Program April 2, 3, and 4. The Felix Event Center hosted the ceremony for Lee Elementary School on Tuesday, April 2, for Murray Elementary on Wednesday, April 3, and Mountain View Elementary on Thursday, April 4.

C.H.A.M.P. places APU education students in local fourth grade classrooms. In the C.H.A.M.P. program, Azusa Pacific students encourage elementary students to pursue the dream of college. "[My C.H.A.M.P. buddy] has been an extremely good friend to me," said one C.H.A.M.P. participant.

Through the 10-week program, C.H.A.M.P students learn what college is all about including the hard work and fun it takes to achieve a dream. "When you go to college, you can be whatever you want," said a C.H.A.M.P. student from Lee.

Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis addressed Lee Elementary graduates and Mayor of Azusa Cristina Cruz Madrid addressed Murray School graduates. "You have to dream big," said Solis. "Your parents are counting on you. The people of the university are here to help you, take advantage of that." Madrid spoke of the advantage of a college degree in finding a good job.

Each fourth grader left the event with a diploma and encouragement to pursue an education. "Believe in yourself. You are the best," said Alan Thorndike, principal of Lee Elementary.