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‘I Made It Happen!’ Celebration to Honor Graduating Language Minority Students

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‘I Made It Happen!’ Celebration to Honor Graduating Language Minority Students
Posted on 05/15/2015
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A celebration of achievement will be held Tuesday, May 19, for about 50 graduating seniors from the Portland Public Schools’ Make It Happen! program. The students didn’t grow up speaking English as their native language, yet they not only have learned English and are graduating from the city’s public high schools, but many of them also are headed to college.

The 2015 “I Made It Happen!” Celebration begins at 4:30 p.m. at Portland’s Ocean Gateway terminal, located at 14 Ocean Gateway Pier.

Make It Happen! is a program of the Portland Public Schools’ Multilingual and Multicultural Center. It’s an extended learning program for language minority students in grades 7 through 12 that is designed to help them raise and realize their academic aspirations. The program provides students with personalized and structured academic and social support to ensure their success in school and help prepare them for college.

“This is the first ‘I Made It Happen!’ event and we hope it will turn into an annual one,” said Nanette Dyer Blake, the Multilingual Center’s Community Outreach and Development Coordinator. “We want to honor the students and their families, acknowledging that their journey has not been easy and their achievement is well deserved and something very much to be celebrated.” 

Each student will be recognized and honored, given a certificate of achievement and also receive a backpack donated by L.L. Bean for the event. Students also will be invited to share their stories on how they made their educational successes happen.

The nearly 50 institutions of higher learning at which the students have been accepted include a number of highly competitive colleges and universities in Maine and beyond.

Among guests at the “I Made It Happen!” Celebration will be Make It Happen! volunteer mentors, known as academic coaches, who help students succeed. Also in attendance will be the students’ parents; Make It Happen! AmeriCorps site coordinators who work directly with the students; local and state officials; and Portland Public Schools’ teachers and other staff. Additionally, representatives from a number of community partners that work directly with Make It Happen! students will be in attendance at the event. Those partners include The Telling Room, Seeds of Peace, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Cultivating Community, SEALSfit, Ripple Effect and Let's Get Ready.

Those wishing to attend the event are asked to RSVP at [email protected] or call 207-842-4657.