Grabbing the keys to a brand new Chevy Sonic, Victoria Oliver could hardly believe that she was just announced the winner of the grand prize in the 2015 Gillman Auto group of the RGV Drive for the Perfect Attendance Awards.
Oliver, a junior at Early College High School, was randomly selected as the winner of a 2015 Chevy Sonic during the annual Drive for the Perfect Awards Ceremony at Gillman Chevrolet on May 16. During the ceremony, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students, who maintained perfect attendance throughout the year, were celebrated for their dedication to their education and given the opportunity to win gift cards, tablets and a new car.
With almost 200 students qualifying for the awards ceremony, perfect attendance paid off for Oliver as she considered the prize to be the most unexpected and pleasant surprise of the year.
“When they called my name, I couldn’t believe I won,” said Oliver. “I had been telling myself I wasn’t going to win, and then I did. I don’t ever think I’ve been so shocked.”
Helping her attain perfect attendance throughout the year, Oliver also wanted to thank those in her life for helping her stay on track with her attendance.
“I want to thank my mom for taking me to school each day and Gillman for the opportunity to win this brand new car,” said Oliver. “I truly believe that a student that comes to school every single day, ready to learn and take notes is more likely to succeed.”
Other prizewinners included Harlingen High School students Kennedy Boykin and Adriana Turrubiartes who received an iPad Mini and Samsung Tablet, respectively. ECHS student Adolfo Mateo was also selected to receive a MacBook Pro. Keeping all students in mind as well, 40 American Express gift cards were raffled off throughout the event.
“It felt great to know that coming to school each day gave me the opportunity to win an iPad Mini,” said Boykin. “I think its great how Gillman is helping our schools by giving us these prizes, because it really encourages students to come to class and try harder.”
A special prize was also presented to students with lifetime perfect attendance, which means they did not miss a day of school from kindergarten to the end of their senior year. This year, HCISD had three students meet the standards for this prestigious achievement. These students were Roberto Martinez and Fernando Chavez from HHSS and Christina Borquez from HHS.
The Drive for the Perfect Attendance Awards Program was created as a partnership between Gillman Chevrolet and the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District to reward students for their daily attendance and improves academic performance. The program included over $100,000 in prizes for students at all grade levels for reaching attendance goals throughout the year.
“Our partnership with Gillman is an incredible example of how a school district and member of the business community can come together to benefit students,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos “I would like to thank the Gillman Chevrolet family for their commitment to Harlingen CISD and their dedication to students. Overall, when it’s all said and done, excellence in education is what makes the difference for kids and these partnerships go a long way in celebrating the success of our students.”
“These students are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Scott Dupons, Vice President and Managing Partner of Gillman Autogroup of the RGV. “We are investing in the future success of these young men and women. They’re going to be productive citizens. We’re happy to be a part of this partnership and encourage students to stay in school, because it plays an important role in their future success.”
Helping students succeed through attendance was a focus throughout the year. In addition to the prizes from Gillman, HCISD raffled 76 iPad minis at all high schools and middle schools after each academic quarter for students who had perfect attendance in the quarter, allowing students who miss for illness during one quarter to be eligible for a reward in a subsequent quarter.