Sterling, VA (October 4, 2015) – Dominion High School’s gym was full of energy the morning of Friday, September 18th, as the school community celebrated Hispanic Heritage with the school’s first Hispanic Heritage assembly.
The purpose of the assembly was to recognize Hispanics as an integral population within our community and to highlight aspects of Hispanic culture.
The assembly began with Principal John Brewer making opening remarks. The daily moment of silence and pledge of allegiance were followed by a parade of students bearing the flags of their respective Spanish-speaking countries.
Emcees’ Chris Longo and Kareem Khabbaz introduced each of the acts that made up the assembly. A group of Profe. Sierralta’s current and former Spanish language students performed a bilingual version of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flags” to promote the unity of cultures and celebration of freedom.
Two readings were presented – in both Spanish and English – by Luis Fernando Ordoñez, Katherine Galavis-Aponte and Deysi Aguirre. One was written by Meibelyn Cisneros. Both writings depicted the different experiences of Hispanics within the United States.
An exciting presentation of a variety of Hispanic dances was on display during the assembly. Guest Luy Cortes, founder artistic director, choreographer and principal dancer of Samba Passion, presented an exciting Samba exhibition in full costume. The Azúcar Salsa Club from George Mason University shared the joys of salsa dancing. Finally, Dominion’s own award-winning Dominion Latin Dance team showcased a mix of Latin rhythms and choreography that culminated in inviting members of the student body and staff to dance on the gymnasium floor with them.
The culminating event of the assembly was guest speaker Jason “The Don” Torrico, president and CEO of Latin é. Latin é’s mission is to uplift Latinos through quality entertainment while creating a portal for non-Latinos to learn about the Latin culture.
Torrico spoke about why Hispanic Heritage month is important to everyone, not just Hispanics. He highlighted the importance of the month in recognizing Hispanics who have contributed to the U.S. in a variety of ways as well as offering an opportunity for all to learn about Hispanic culture. Torrico stressed the diversity of Hispanic culture, the importance of family and teamwork within the Hispanic community and the work ethic off Hispanics as three important characteristics to know about Hispanics. Torrico acknowledged the hard work and sacrifice that many have made and implored the students to show a “return on investment by paying them back” with hard work and sacrifice to help others.
Torrico was speaking directly to the Hispanic students in Titan community when he said “We live in an amazing time where people can write their own destiny and anything is possible.” In closing, Torrico challenged students to “realize their dream, work hard, be part of a team and sacrifice” in order to accomplish much in the future.
The assembly was organized by Angela Rhine, Carlos Ulloa, Raquel Picado, Larissa Nuñez-Cuevas, Sarah Sierralta, Katherin Ventura, Emmy-Maria Joseph and Kim Fogelson.