r Haylee Johansen, program assistant at the Utah Education Network, recently surprised Eileen Quintana as one of Utah’s American Graduate Champions. Eileen Quintana is the program manager of the Title VII Education Program in Nebo School District. Quintana’s co-workers, family, Nebo School District Director of Special Education/Federal Programs J. Lynn Jones and Nebo School District Superintendent Rick Nielsen were in attendance to congratulate Quintana on this prestigious award.
Utah American Graduate is a UEN project that connects people to resources that support academic and career success. Utah American Graduate is also part of a national Corporation for Public Broadcasting project called American Graduate. More than 80 public television and radio stations have joined forces with more than 1,000 partners and at-risk schools in 30 states to improve high school graduation rates in their communities.
Johansen said, “Eileen, your significant work is making a difference with students and your community. We need people like you! I would like to honor you with an Honorary American Graduate Champion certificate for all your hard work. On behalf of Utah, thank you.”
Quintana was nominated by a community member. Connecting education to culture can be key to helping Native American students succeed. Through homework labs and summer camps for students in Nebo School District, Quintana brings individual attention to 220 students who need the resources and support.
“We face many challenges such as poverty, low graduation rate across the state, health issues and high suicide rates;” Quintana said, “but we are also resilient, hard-working, close-knit families through clans and tribes. We are a strong community that feels very committed to the success of our youth.”
Congratulations to Eileen Quintana on supporting Nebo’s Native American students and helping them succeed with one of the highest graduation rates in the country.