Excelencia in Education's Campaign Will Celebrate 2020 Latino College Graduates

June 2, 2020

Ivonne Rodriguez

June 5th Event to Feature National Influential Leaders
Special remarks by Maria Hinojosa of NPR’s Latino USA

Washington, D.C. – Many Latino students have worked hard to earn a college education, and many are first generation college graduates. Not having the traditional in-person graduation ceremony is a heartache for the whole family. Excelencia in Education, a national non-profit organization that aims to accelerate Latino student success in higher education, is leading a group of Latino organizations and higher education institutions coming together to celebrate the Latino graduating seniors in the class of 2020 through a special campaign dubbed, Greater Than Graduation (>Graduation).

These are turbulent times in our country as we navigate a pandemic and the pain and turmoil in the streets. Through it all graduates are reaching a significant milestone. The Greater Than Graduation campaign will remind Latino graduates that, while most will earn their degrees without a traditional celebration, their future accomplishments, enhanced with their education, are just beginning. Their education has given them the opportunity to make a positive and sustained difference in the world. These graduates are getting started at a time of uncertainty in our world, but they are not alone; we are with them.

“Latino college students are a rapidly growing segment of America’s higher education population, and their potential is boundless,” said Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education. “Their graduation is something we should celebrate. After all, Latino graduates will ensure America’s future.”

On June 5th, an online Greater Than Graduation celebration will feature influential leaders, such as Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Allan Golston, President of the US Programs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who will address Latino graduates of the class of 2020. The celebration will also feature remarks from Maria Hinojosa, host of National Public Radio’s (NPR) Latino USA. The keynote address will be immediately followed by a conversation between Hinojosa and select Latino 2020 college graduates from across the nation. The entire celebration will be broadcast live at 3pm (ET) on Excelencia in Education’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/681482822427214/

In addition to the June 5th celebration, the Greater Than Graduation campaign includes a TikTok challenge using the hashtag #NoParesSigueChallenge (“Don’t Stop, Keep Moving Forward” challenge). Through social videos on TikTok, graduating college seniors are showing their creativity and giving audiences a sense of the hard work that has led to graduation. A handful of the graduates who complete the challenge will be selected for the June 5th conversation with Maria Hinojosa.

“We want to bring positive attention to the significant accomplishments of these graduates and recognize their hard work to earn their degree. They join the 27% of Latino adults that have a college degree in this country. And this country will need their talents and energies as we move forward!” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia’s Chief Executive Officer.

Graduation is a milestone and a joyful time, even in these circumstances. It can also be a time of anxiety for young people on the threshold of the “real world.” COVID-19 has created new uncertainties and brought the likely stress to a whole other level. The Greater Than Graduation campaign recognizes the success of this year’s graduates and reminds the world that whatever obstacles come their way, Latino college graduates have learned how to keep moving forward. To all of this year’s graduates: No pares. ¡Sigan!

About Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices while collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia is building a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leadership. For more information, visit: http://www.EdExcelencia.org 


For more information on the Greater Than Graduation campaign please visit: http://www.greaterthangraduation.org