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SDSU Imperial Valley Celebrates Third Annual “Building Bridges” Commencement in Mexicali

-Editorial

For the third consecutive year, SDSU Imperial Valley’s Cross-Cultural Center successfully hosted its “Building Bridges” commencement ceremony at the Autonomous University of Baja California’s Mexicali campus. This special event allowed graduates whose immediate family members cannot cross the border to celebrate their achievements alongside their loved ones. 

First held in 2022, the “Building Bridges” ceremony was the inaugural event of its kind to be hosted in Mexico for graduates and their families. This year, the ceremony has expanded its reach with additional celebrations at UABC-Tijuana, reinforcing SDSU’s commitment to its transborder community.

Daniel Lopez, SDSU’s Cross-Cultural Center coordinator, was the person responsible for this ceremony and has seen the success of this event and is excited about the partnership they have with UABC.

“It’s impactful to have these students walk this stage and have their families been able to be here and it’s a blessing to see their parents happy,” Lopez said. 

This event not only highlighted the achievements of the 56 graduates but also emphasized the strong cultural and familial bonds that transcend borders.

Graduates such as Litzy Duarte who is an elementary school teacher said to be proud of representing the Imperial Valley and that his parents can be there to share this moment.

“I’m a first-generation graduate and I’m happy to share this moment with my grandparents and have my family be proud of me as I am proud of them for the sacrifices, they made so I could be here,” Duarte said. 

Viridiana Arreguin graduated as a psychology major with a minor in social work. She had to go through many challenges to achieve this day and felt joy knowing that her brothers would be able to see her get the diploma. 

“My brothers and my Mom are the ones that raised me and haven’t been able to cross for a long time so this is very emotional for me,” Arreguin shared. She is the mother of four children and is proud to give her example to them about the importance of going to college. 

The ceremony, a collaborative effort between SDSU’s Cross-Cultural Center, the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), underscores SDSU’s dedication to supporting the social justice of its Transfronterizx students. SDSU Imperial Valley, recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution, takes pride in fostering a supportive environment for students navigating the complexities of living along the California-Baja California borderlands.

The historic initiative began on May 14, 2022, at Casa de la Cultura (Histórica Escuela Cuauhtémoc) in Mexicali, with backing from the SDSU Office of the President, the Office of HSI Affairs, International Affairs, Associated Students of SDSU Imperial Valley, Chicanex Sin Fronteras of SDSU Imperial Valley, and the SDSU-IV Professional Skills Development Center.

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