Realizing the dream of a high school diploma

Former Riverside High School student Crystal Rendon, center, took part in the YISD ‘Realize Your Dream’ commencement ceremony Dec. 12.

For the first time ever, dozens of former Ysleta Independent School District students were given the opportunity to obtain their high-school diplomas – some several years after last attending YISD classrooms – and participate in a special “Realize Your Dream” Commencement Ceremony, held Dec. 12 at YISD’s Central Office atrium.

This special commencement ceremony was made possible through a new state law, Senate Bill 463, which was passed in the Texas Legislature in 2017.

This new law establishes an alternate pathway for former students who earned all the credits to graduate high school, but failed to pass a state assessment or End Of Course (EOC) exams after three attempts.

Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre honored several of these former students at the Realize Your Dream ceremony – including former Riverside High School student Crystal Rendon, who said her new diploma will undoubtedly open up “so many doors” for her and her fellow graduates.

“Although I struggled to receive my diploma, I was able to move forward in receiving my certification as a nursing assistant,” Rendon said during her commencement speech. “Now, by receiving my diploma, I can further pursue my career in nursing, and achieve my RN (registered nurse) degree. 

“Nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks,” she added, “and every obstacle gets us one step closer to success.”

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