Cecilia, Cece Cardenas (16′) | Our Students Our Stories

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Cecilia Cardenas has been selected as a Rotary Student of the Week. She is the daughter of Cecilia Ramirez and Jose R. Cardenas.

Cecilia Cardenas & parents Cecilia and Jose

Rotary Club of Beloit | Student of the weekRotary Club of Beloit
Student of the Week
September 2015

A Mom’s Perspective

Learn everything possible about your child’s education. Doing so has been her most valuable lesson as a school district of Beloit parent, says Cecilia Ramirez who firmly believes knowledge is powerful when it comes to helping your child at school.

This theory has been well tested by Cardenas and her husband, Jose Cardenas, who are preparing to watch their second child, Cecilia or Cece, graduate this spring – with high honors and a world of college and career choices.

“The more information and understanding the better,” says Cecilia who stresses that this is an important point for all parents and especially for those who did not receive an education in this country, as is her case. Essentially, she can offer thoughts from both of those perspectives, Cecilia says.

Cecilia Ramirez | Academic All-State & Academic All-Americans

Academic All-State & Academic All-Americans

Being There

Cecilia, who is coordinator for the city’s Latino Service Providers Coalition, explains that it is essential for parents to communicate with their children about classes and academic progress in addition to activities; be in touch with their children’s teachers as well as counselors and administrators as needed; and make sure they understand and support not only academic paths as best they can but also extracurricular activities.

“The more information you can have, the better,” Cecilia says, noting that she has always asked CeCe about her classes and homework. In addition, she tries to be as supportive as possible. “I never go to sleep at night until her homework is finished,” she says, for example. “Even if Cece is doing Calculus, and that is something I cannot help with, I stay up until she is finished. I just want to be there.”

Being there at parent-teacher conferences is another important means of showing children their parents care, Cecilia says, adding that this also creates good communication channels with teachers. I knew I didn’t have to go but this is “a good way to show your children you care and also to show respect for the teachers.”

As a side note, Cecilia is quick to point out that good parent teacher communication and thus relationships were part of their experiences from the beginning in the school district. That included Robinson Elementary and Aldrich Middle School before Beloit Memorial, she says.

“I will say I have always had good communication with our teachers,” she says. “At the high school, it is a little different because students are encouraged to do more on their own, which is very good. But any time I have had a question, the teachers have helped.

Cecilia talks (1.33 min. mark) about Beloit Memorial Lady Tide swim team being ranked 1st in the nation for academics 2014-2015 season.

First In The Nation For Academics – Beloit Memorial Lady Tide.

Right Choices

“As immigrants, we didn’t go to schools in the United States,” she continues, referring to her husband as well as herself. “So we have always tried to rely on the teachers. They are the ones who guide our children and they have guided us.

“At the high school,” she adds, “Cece’s teachers have always given her the right advice… what classes to take. With the help of her teachers, she made the right choices.”

Other right choices for Cece have included being a part of the BMHS Girls Swim Team and also orchestra and theatre, Cecilia says who stresses the importance of not only attending athletic events and arts performances, but also truly understanding the importance of the activity in which children are involved.

“It is important to allow children to try something that interests them, even if it was not something we did,” she says. “Being involved in things helps children develop and it is good to support this. And if you don’t know about it, learn.

“A good example of this is from when Cece’s older brother was Homecoming King. When I heard, I didn’t think it was a big thing. I thought this is kind of crazy. It was not part of my traditions. But I was in a meeting with someone who said ‘What an honor!’ So I went home and asked him about it and learned about it. I learned what to do. We bought a suit and made sure we went to the parade and the game.”

Cardenas Family | Jose, Jose, Cecilia & Cecilia

By Example

In addition to being present at events and performances, parents should explore opportunities for behind-the-scenes support, whether it is selling concessions or other such efforts, Cecilia says.

Along these lines, she also advises parents to make sure they make it possible for their children to remain at school after the official day has ended, for any academic help or practices. “Do this, even if it means going back later to pick them up,” she says.

Learning all of these key points has helped her and Jose help their daughter be successful now and for the future, Cecilia says who has tried to teach that knowledge is power by example as a BMHS parent.

Cecilia Cardenas | Lady Tide Seniors 2015-16

Lady Tide Seniors 2015-16

School Bio

Cecilia Cardenas has been selected as a Rotary Student of the Week. She is the daughter of Cecilia Ramirez and Jose R. Cardenas.

Cecilia has been a High Honor Roll student all four years at Beloit Memorial receiving awards for Outstanding Academic Achievement along with maintaining a cumulative GPA of 4.00. She has received the Superintendent Scholars Award, the Physical Education Department Award and the English Department Award.  Cecilia is a member of the BMHS National Honor Society and a Beloit College Porter Scholar.

While at BMHS, Cecilia has been involved with Student Senate, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Youth 4 Change, the BMHS Theatre and the BMHS Orchestra.  Athletically Cecilia is a member of the BMHS Girls Swim and Soccer Teams. In swim she is the team captain and has earned the following awards: Rookie of the Year, Iron Woman, and Hardest Worker.

Outside of BMHS, Cecilia volunteers with Kids Against Hunger, Blood Drives, ECHO Food Pantry, the Beloit Public Library, Premier Rehab Nursing Home and Even Start. She enjoys Mexican Folkloric dance as well.