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Hispanic Honor Society

The Steward School
Celebrating Spanish language and culture
On September 27, 19 students were inducted into Steward’s chapter of the Hispanic Honor Society (Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica) at a ceremony in the Carolyn R. Brandt Art Gallery.  Upper School World Languages Teacher Marina Escámez Ballesta created the chapter last year to celebrate Upper Schoolers who excel in Spanish studies. In spring 2023, Steward’s organization was named Chapter of the Year out of 3,500 chapters in the United States. 

“These students have mastered the language and foster an appreciation for the Hispanic language and culture,” said Mrs. Escámez Ballesta. At the induction ceremony, she welcomed students and their families, speaking to them in Spanish. An excerpt from her welcoming statement is translated into English here: 

“In this year’s ceremony, we celebrate our students, who are multifaceted individuals who love the Hispanic language and culture,” she said. 

At the event, Jackson Rhamy ’24, president of the Society, read a brief account of the inspiration behind the Society. Some of the newly inducted students read excerpts of Spanish-language literature. Bailey Owens ’24, Braylan Rice ’25, Beth Cram ’24, Cameron Berryman ’24, Feryaal Abbasi ’24, and Laura Luzzatto ’24 read works by Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, and Federico García Lorca.

In addition, Pedro Lujan ’25, Ana Reveles Leon 24, and Natalia Jimenez ’26 shared their thoughts on the importance of embracing one’s heritage. Excerpts from their speeches, which were delivered in Spanish, are translated here into English:

Pedro Lujan ’25
From my Guatemala side, I learned to be positive and be close to my family. With hard work and dedication, nothing is impossible. From my Bolivian side, I learned to be loyal to those I love, to laugh, and to live life my way.

Ana Reveles Leon ’24
Sometimes you lose your identity in the process of living with two cultures, but we have to feel proud of our background and honor our heritage.

Natalia Jimenez ’26
Having Hispanic roots means a life full of culture and traditions, especially in December, which is an important period for any Hispanic family, especially for Colombian homes like mine.

Like all Spartans, the members of the Hispanic Honor Society are encouraged to be empathetic, caring citizens who engage with the world beyond Steward. 

“This year, in conjunction with Steward’s schoolwide theme of ‘service,’ we have added a service-learning component to the Society’s goals,” said Ms. Escamez Ballesta. “I’m especially excited about a translation project aimed to make health, financial, and social services accessible to the local Spanish-speaking population. Our students will gain valuable real-world translation experience and, at the same time, make important community connections.” 


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