An assembly at Ernesto Serna School turned into an exciting surprise for students and staff when world-famous artist and songwriter Khalid made an appearance at the school.
The Socorro ISD alum surprised more than 700 students with gifts and holiday cheer.
“Socorro ISD supports me a lot so I try and extend my gratitude in multiple ways,” Khalid said. “It’s super special for me to give back to El Paso. The fact that I get to come to school and get to hand out gifts to all these kids is special. Maybe today they woke up in a bad mood but they left in a better mood, as long as that purpose is accomplished that’s all that matters.”
The Ernesto Serna community thought the event was a reception to honor their charitable deeds. Earlier this year, the campus raised $2,000 to contribute to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and help a child’s dream become a reality. The school also participated in a toy and canned food drive to help others in need.
SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., Board Trustee Paul Guerra and Principal Alejandro Olvera thanked students for their generous donations and support. Moments later, Dr. Espinoza announced to students that they were in for a special treat from someone who wanted to give back to them.
Dr. Espinoza called up Khalid’s parents and his sister and thanked them for their generosity and kindness. He went on to introduce the highly acclaimed singer.
“He’s a proud Team SISD alum, MTV Video Music Award winner, Billboard Music Awards winner, Teen Choice Award winner, iheartRadio Music Award winner, American Music Award winner, an Americas High School graduate. He’s the talented musical artist, Khalid!” Espinoza said.
Students were thrilled when they saw Khalid make his grand entrance. The school bleachers were filled with tears of joy, looks of awe, wide eyes, and bright smiles full of excitement.
Brandon Valenzuela, a seventh-grader at the school, said meeting the Grammy-nominated artist has been a dream come true.
“I was crying when I saw him,” he said. “It was my dream to meet him, and I can’t believe he chose us. He is so nice. To me, he’s perfect.”
Khalid gave a countdown and all students, kindergarten through eighth-grade, unwrapped their Christmas presents. They received cosmetic playsets, drawing dashboards, LOL dolls, fire trucks, and more.
Another student, Diego Martinez, received a guitar.
“I love music and I love my guitar,” said the fifth-grader. “I was so happy that I hugged him and kept saying thank you. I will always remember this moment and this gift. I’m going to be even more excited when I hear his songs!”
Principal Olvera said his students were star-struck and thankful to have received a gift from Khalid.
“At Ernesto Serna we take pride in helping others and today we were blessed with this opportunity where Khalid came to our school to spend this time with our kids and invested in our children,” Olvera said. “This really meant a lot!”
For Khalid, giving back to his home town was a humbling experience and an opportunity to share an inspiring message.
“Persistency is the key to success,” Khalid said. “It’s about not giving up. I always say this, ‘the one day you could have given up, the next day could have been your blessing”, and a lot of people don’t get to see that, and some people don’t make it to that… You have to work for what you want. Be true to yourself, your goals, your dreams and everything will line up as you want it to be.”