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Despite struggles, principal credits students’ hard work for the accomplishment


Any graduation is time for celebration, but for 41 students at the Dallas Oak Cliff campus of the Texans Can Academies, this year’s celebration of the achievement means even more, as students dealt with the ongoing difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The students’ accomplishment was celebrated at 6:30 p.m. on March 31 during an outdoor ceremony.


Principal Norma Villegas attributes the achievement to the resilience and hard work of the senior class.

“It was my esteemed pleasure to pay special recognition to the class of 2021 for keeping their senior year alive, while facing a myriad of defining moments,” Villegas said. “After seeing each of them perform under such pressure, I am certain the best is yet to come in all of their future endeavors.”


With the many twists and turns the students faced through the year, she said the class faced every challenge head on and never gave up the goal of graduating.


“It would have been easy for the students to give up during this year,” Villegas said. “But every time a new obstacle got in the way, the students in this class pushed through, keeping their eyes toward graduation, and it was extremely heartwarming to send these students off the right way, diploma in hand and ready for the future.” 


Texans Can Superintendent Dr. James J. Ponce also recognized the students’ efforts at the Dallas Oak Cliff location during a year of difficulties.

“These students pushed through incredible adversity to achieve this first, in what I am sure will be a long list, of lifetime accomplishments,” Ponce said. “Their hard work and positive attitudes showcase the spirit of all of the learners at Texans Can Academies.”


About Texans Can Academies

Texans Can Academies believe reading is the key to empowerment, personal fulfillment, success and employment. The schools ensure their students have the reading and writing skills needed to complete all coursework to earn their high school diploma and establish economic independence after graduation.

For over 35 years, Texans Can Academies has continued to provide the highest quality education for all students. Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 14 dropout recovery schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. To date, more than 171,759 youth have been given a second chance at life with the opportunity to pursue their dreams. 


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