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Baboquivari High School Hosts First-Ever College Signing Day

Baboquivari High School on the Tohono O’odham Nation hosted their first-ever College Signing Day to honor students who will be attending college this coming fall.

The event was held on April 26, 2016 and was in conjunction with the First Lady’s Reach High Campaign. The campaign is an effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or four-year college or university.

“We had such a great turnout from the community and it was great being able to include the seventh and eighth graders from Baboquivari Middle School,” said Rebecca Cohen, Baboquivari High School college counselor and mentor.

There were also members from the Tohono O’odham Nation Legislative Branch, Tohono O’odham Nation Education Department, Baboquivari Unified School District and the Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, Edward Manuel. Chairman Manuel offered words of encouragement to the class of 2016 and told students “Learn as much as you can so you don’t have to depend on anyone else but yourself.”

Each student was recognized and presented with a certificate. BHS has 44 seniors this year and 36 have committed to pursuing a postsecondary education which is a big different from three years ago. In 2013, BHS had 42 graduates and only 14 went onto college. 

“This year is the highest number of students to receive letters and commit to a college,” said Baboquivari High School Principal, Yolanda Nunez. “These students are really reaching outside the boundaries of the Tohono O’odham Nation.”

BHS plans to make the College Signing Day an annual event. Take a look at photos of the wonderful day.

Baboquivari High School Principal Yoland Nunez congratulates Adrian Sabori at the first ever College Signing Day at Baboquivari High School on April 26, 2016 in Topawa, Arizona. Sabori will be attending Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Michael Juan signs his certificate for committing to attend Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Arizona at the College Signing Day held at Baboquivari High School on April 26, 2016 in Topawa, Arizona. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Kat Thompson from Northern Arizona College gives students some college advice before congratulating them at the College Signing Day at Baboquivari High School in Topawa, Arizona on April 26, 2016. There are three students from Baboquivari High School who will be attending NAU in the fall. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Myesha Lopez signs her certificate for committing to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona at the College Signing Day held at Baboquivari High School on April 26, 2016 in Topawa, Arizona. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manuel addresses the class of 2016 at the College Signing Day at Baboquivari High School on April 26, 2016 in Topawa, Arizona. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Roaring Thunder performs at the end of the College Signing Day held at Baboquivari High School on April 26, 2016 in Topawa, Arizona. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Brandi Espuma, 18, is from the Chukut Kuk District on the Tohono O’odham Nation. She is a senior at Baboquivari High School and will be attending Northern Arizona University in the fall to study journalism and political science. She is nervous but more excited than anything. “I really want to get there and take in as much as I can,” she said. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Summer Hendricks, 18, is from the Sells District on the Tohono O’odham Nation. She is a senior at Baboquivari High School and will be attending Grand Canyon University in the fall to major in athletic training. She is ready to make her move to the big city. “I’m more excited than nervous to live on my own,” she said. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

After the College Signing Day event held on April 26, 2016 at Baboquivari High School, seniors had the opportunity to take photos with these hashtags in a photo booth which were shared online. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Kyleton Wichapa, 18, is from the Sells District on the Tohono O’odham Nation. He is a senior at Baboquivari High School and will be attending Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the fall. His major will be studio arts along with a minor in cinema arts. He is nervous about leaving his family and settling into a new place. “I’m nervous about going to the school and finding my comfort zone,” he said. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

All the students received a certificate to commit at the College Signing Day event held at Baboquivari High School in Topawa, Arizona on April 26, 2016. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Jamal Toro,18, is from the Sells District on the Tohono O’odham Nation. He is a senior at Baboquivari High School and will be attending Tohono O’odham Community College located on the Tohono O’odham Nation. He was recruited to play basketball for the college and is looking forward to traveling. Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.

Justin Toro, 18, is from the Chukut Kuk District on the Tohono O’odham Nation. He is a senior at Baboquivari High School and will be attending Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona to major in psychology. He likes that ASU is not too far away from home. “I am excited about the program for psychology and what it has to offer.” Photo by Jacelle Ramon-Sauberan.