2022 Georgia Migrant Student of the Year
Congratulations to Orlando Tellez-Baltazar for being recognized as the 2022 Migrant Student of the year! Orlando is currently attending Long County High School and after graduating, he plans to attend college and pursue a degree in engineering. When asked about his academic achievements, Orlando stated: “Although I was born and raised here in America, my family spent their lives in Mexico before relocating here. We have faced many challenges along the way with language barriers, finances, working strenuous jobs, and even in the education system. Through the migrant program with my school, my parents and I, myself, received support that helped bridge the gap between our different cultures. Although my parents knew very little about the American Educational System, they expected nothing but the best from me with my grades being no lower than an A. I have strived to always fulfill their requests of succeeding in school and making them proud."
2021 Migrant Student of the Year
Ms. Estefani Gomez-Cardenas is a distinguished senior at Colquitt County High School and part of the Migrant Education Program. She is the proud daughter of Mr. Alfredo Gomez and Mrs. Carmen Cardenas. Through the rigors of school and challenges, she relied on her parents who gave continuous encouragement and pushed her to try hard every single day. She does credit the Migrant Program with helping her throughout her academic career. Estefani plans to attend Valdosta State University and major in nursing. She is working towards accomplishing this goal while still attending high school by taking core college classes and working at Colquitt Regional Medical Center as a CNA.
2020 Georgia Migrant Student of the Year Award
Ms. Paola E. Lopez is a Migrant Education student of Jeff-Davis County Schools. She was born in Baxley, Georgia and is the proud daughter of Jose and Maria Lopez. Growing up Paola saw how hard her parents worked in the fields. They spent countless hours in the cold and in the heat working in agriculture hard laboring jobs. It was difficult for her to see her parents working so hard every day so that they could give her sister and Paola a better life. She decided to give her parents something in return for their hard work so she focused on her academics. Paola put all her efforts in her studies and acknowledges that she was able to improve her grades with the help of the Migrant Education Program. Paola is currently enlisted with the Army and will leave for basic training in the month of July. When she finishes with basic training, she plans to also enroll in college to study criminal justice. Her ultimate dream is one day have a place in the FBI and be successful in everything she sets her mind to do. It is an honor for the Georgia Migrant Education Program to present the Migrant Student of the Year award to Ms. Lopez.
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Local Migrant Staff Presented with Award
Roberto Aguilar was presented with the “Pioneer in Education” award in recognition for his work as a Student Service Provider for the Migrant community of Rabun County. The congratulates him for his dedication to serving migrant children & youth in his district!
2013 Migrant Student of the Year
Scott Castro was born in Pasco County, Florida; he is the youngest of 5 brothers and 5 sisters; his family moved from Florida when he was very young and he started his first days of school at the Coastal Georgia Head Start in Collins Georgia. Scott went to Reidsville Elementary, transferred to a school in Florida due to family work in agriculture, also he went to Toombs County Middle School, a school in Dalton Georgia where he attended Dalton West Side Middle School for over 6 months, later he moved back home to Tattnall County with his father and began attending school in Reidsville Middle School; it was nearing the end of his 6th grade year’ when he was again forced to transfer schools; this time to Clinton, North Carolina. His father got a job contract in North Carolina to pick and load cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, and eggplants for a local farmer. Scott always helped his dad in his work, anything he could do from working in the fields to handling paper work, he would do it. He started his 9th grade year at Hobbton High School in Newton Grove North Carolina. He attended school there for three months until his father’s work was finished and they were forced to move back to Tattnall County, and to start at Tattnall County High. There Scott continued to work for his father after school, on the weekends, and holidays and he also has his own job of working in chicken houses right after school. Scott struggled at home due to my family’s problems; although he tried to not allow this to affect his school, at times it did. Scott has been given a lot of obstacles throughout his life that have given him thoughts of quitting school and sticking to working because that is all he has ever known and seen. But, due to the fact that he has a very supportive family and also an amazing staff to look up to at Tattnall County High, he has made it and he is going to graduate as an honor graduate from Tattnall County High School on May 24, 2013.
Scott received the 2013 Migrant Student of the Year Award during the Superintendent's Recognition Ceremony held at the Georgia Department of Education on May 17, 2013. The Georgia Migrant Education Program wishes Scott the best in his future endeavors!
2011 Migrant Student of the Year – Jamie Ornelas
Jamie Ornelas graduated from Tattnall County High School with a 4.0 G.P.A. and as an Honors Graduate of Excellence. To achieve that honor, 70% of a student’s courses must be Honors or A.P. classes. Jamie stated the most difficult part of high school was being unable to go out with her friends because she had to stay home and study “but it was worth it”, she said. In her spare time, Jamie played for the school’s soccer team. Jamie developed her interest in business while working for her father. She ran the payroll and performed administrative tasks in her father’s business. Seeing how responsible Jamie was at work, her father encouraged her to pursue this area of study. In high school, she enrolled in accounting and businesses classes to further her passion for Business studies.
Jamie will be attending Brewton Parker College in the fall and will pursue a major in Business Management and Accounting. Because of all her hard work, Jamie is a recipient of the Hope Scholarship and will receive an athletic scholarship to play soccer for the Lady Barons as a forward. Jamie would like to credit her success to Autumn Hall, Migrant Support Staff for Tattnall County High School, for encouraging her to attend college. Jamie has two older brothers and two younger siblings and she is the first in her family to attend college.
2010 Georgia Migrant Education Honor Graduate
Congratulations to Yeni Y. Hernandez, recipient of the 2010 Georgia Migrant Education Honor Graduate at the Excellent Recognition Program ceremony. Yeni has expressed her desire to foster her educational experience and is considering post-secondary educational opportunities (college or research university) in her native Mexico. She is interested in all the academic possibilities that a college education has to offer and has not yet decided what degree she has her heart set on. Yeni noted that regardless of where her college experience may take place, she will certainly take the wealth of knowledge and academic excellence from her Georgia high school: Franklin County High School. Yeni is very proud to be the first generation to graduate from high school in her family and to have done so as a migrant student. Hard work and dedication are the driving forces in all personal and academic endeavors and she hopes that she may be an inspiration for other migrant students in Georgia.
In the picture above: Yeni Y. Hernandez, 2010 Georgia Migrant Education Honor Graduate, in company of her mom (left) and Maria Rodriguez (right), Migrant Consortium Education Outreach Specialist.