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At the graduation reception in the, culinary arts students cooked up and served food for guests including quesadillas, chicken kebobs, hamburgers, chefs salads, and a slew of baked desserts. - photo by Photo Contributed

Larissa Castillo learned through that procrastination really doesn’t work.

Charles McClain not only discovered himself through the Career Academies of the Manteca Unified School District but also found a second family.

Castillo and McClain along with Sean Murray shared their experiences at Thursday’s second Graduation Celebration at the district office.

“The only limits are the ones you place on yourself,” said Murray, who, according to his teacher Ryan Costa, has a promising future in Industrial Arts field as a designer and fabricator.

The three were among 15 seniors of the vocational academy committed to providing high students with an opportunity to actively engage in their learning while pursuing other interests – job skills with project-based not to mention on-job-learning – received their Certification of Completion.

The students are scheduled to receive their high school diploma next week.

In the Culinary Arts’ be.cuisine, Principal Diane Medeiros, Chef Jarvis Holloway and others recognized Barry Brand, Marissa Cantu, David Carl Jr., Valerie Casados, Violeta Martinez, Samantha Risso, Mariha Ruiz, Lavonte Taylor and Candice Whitlock.

Whitlock also received the Highest Esteem award from her principal as well as Manteca Police Chief’s Foundation scholarship, Women of Woodbridge scholarship, and the Distinguished Student Pinnacle Award.

Costa and others in the Industrial Arts’ be.industrial program honored Daniel Botelho, Larissa Castillo, Ryan Craig, Clayton Mooney, McClain and Murray.

Murray, in addition, was the recipient of the John Cambra Agriculture / Mechanics Scholarship and the Women of Woodbridge scholarship.

Costa, who named Craig as his “most improved” – he enrolled late in – shared a story about Murray, who was on his way to his English class after working on a messy metal project.

“Why don’t you clean up,” he said to his student. “Sean answered, ‘that’s OK, it will look like I’ve been working.’”

Each of the graduating seniors was met with personal story while receiving gifts. Chef Holloway, for one, called Barry Brand his “Slicer Man” for his willingness to chop up produce. “He was always willing to go that extra yard,” he said.

Added Medeiros: “All have passed the career academy course work.”