2021 Libertas Academy at AHS special pinning ceremony | Photos courtesy SISD
The Libertas Academy at Americas High School welcomed its new cohort of students to the program in a special pinning ceremony earlier this month at the SISD District Service Center.
The Libertas Academy is one of the advanced academic academies offered in Socorro ISD and is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in government and public administration or law.
Amanda Zubiate Stevens, a Libertas instructor at Americas High School, said the program is more than just an academy, they are part of the community. The faculty and staff were eager to honor the students after the ceremony was delayed due to COVID-19 safety precautions.
“This ceremony was a long time coming for our students,” said Zubiate Stevens. “We are excited to finally welcome our newest members to the program.”
Keynote speaker Sylvia Borunda Firth, a solo practitioner attorney who owns her own law firm in El Paso and a former chief of staff to the mayor and former city attorney, was invited to speak and swear in the new members into the academy.
The students’ parents also participated in the ceremony by presenting their children with a special Libertas Academy pin. The pin honors students for their service and participation in the academy.
Americas High School freshman Claire Quinata said it is a great honor to be welcomed into the academy in such a way.
“I know how difficult it is to get into this program, not everyone can get in it,” Quinata said. “I think this will give me many opportunities in my future, and I think if it weren’t for this program, I wouldn’t have as many doors open to me.”
The students and instructors were not the only ones who expressed their pride and excitement at the ceremony. Parents were proud to be part of the event and enjoying the moment with their children.
Quinata’s father, Derek Quinata, said he is happy his daughter is following in his footsteps to become an attorney and having a program like this opens many opportunities for future lawyers.
“It is incredible to have a program in high school that focuses, directs, and encourages future lawyers,” Quinata said. “At such a young age, it’s tough to decide what you want to do, but I believe programs like this one helps students make that decision earlier in their lives.”
Upon being accepted into the Libertas Academy, students can choose an innovative curricular course of study, either law, government, or public administration.