by Andrew Alonzo | [email protected]
On Friday, May 13, Nikki Soriano, a graduate of Orange Vista High School, celebrated her graduation with a high-five and praise from family and friends who showed up at the annual celebration event and National Black Grads Black Graduate Scholarship Recognition Award. The annual ceremony recognized Soriano, along with more than 700 high school graduates from San Bernardino and Riverside counties, with a graduation celebration.
Friday’s event was hosted by the Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement in partnership with National Black Grads, and officially kicked off CEEM Weekend at the 2022 LA County Fair.
“The second weekend of the 2022 LA County Fair is dedicated to the achievements of African American culture and thought leaders leading the way in education, business, entertainment, technology and beyond,” a press release read.
The afternoon featured a libation ceremony led by the CEO of the Center for Youth and Community Development A Majad; the crowd of excellence; live performances by the Pace Setters of San Bernardino and the nine divine Greek fraternities and sororities; and the recognition of 28 students who received $1,000 scholarships sponsored by National Black Grads. In addition, each student received an honorable African Kente stole.
One of the 28 students who received a scholarship was Taryn Thomas, Beaumont High School’s first black major. Asked about the title, the excited senior replied, “it means that [the Black community] moves closer to our goal of true equality, especially in our education.
Thomas will study Symbolic Systems at Stanford University in the fall of 2022.
After the event, the CEEM organized the Black-Greek Fest. Students and their families not only got to learn about the nine divine fraternities and sororities, nine historically black Greek-letter organizations that make up the National Panhellenic Council, but also got to boogie with them.
CEEM’s three-day affair concluded on Sunday, May 15. The festivities included “live entertainment with a surprise performance by Dancing with the Stars singer Amber Riley, panel discussions, children’s areas, an art gallery, pop-up booths, a delicious range of food by black-owned businesses, an entrepreneur pitch contest and much more for children and families,” a press release read.
For more details, visit https://www.ceem.coop.