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Dyslexia fails to deter Lindbergh Education Center grad
Graduate Marvyn Soberanis, second from right, stands with his family after receiving his diploma Friday during Lindbergh Educational Center Commencement Exercises at Calvary Community Church. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Tonya Mauldin knows tough times.

As a third-grade student, she was diagnosed with dyslexia, an impairment of ability to read.

But that learning disability was the least of Mauldin’s problems.

She was homeless for three years, bouncing back not too long ago to earn her high school diploma Friday from Lindbergh Educational Center.

“It’s been a long road for me,” said Maudlin, who was the recipient of both the Lindbergh Faculty Scholarship and the Manteca Unified School Trust Scholarship.

Her short-range plan is to earn Associates of Arts degree in Child Care from a community college, with a long-range goal of becoming a school teacher.

“I think Tonya’s an amazing person,” said Kathy Ruble, who serves as the Manteca Unified coordinator of the Regional Occupational Program’s Schools to Career.

She not only recognized Mauldin’s excellence in the classroom but her efforts in the community, in particular, working with the local non-profit organizations assisting the low-income and homeless people not to mention care-giving to an ailing mother.

Meanwhile, the annual commencement exercise at Calvary Community Church wasn’t exactly what Naila Garcia had imagined years ago.

 “I dreamed of it being held in a football stadium with a band playing ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ over and over,” she said.

But as the winner of the Ethel Parham Faculty Scholarship, Garcia, who missed making graduation two years ago, received much more than she had bargained thanks to the encouragement of friends, family and the Lindbergh staff.

“This ceremony means so much to me,” said Garcia, who plans to go to Delta College in the fall and then transferring to a four-year institution with dreams of becoming a teacher.

According to Howard Holtsman, the soon-to-retire principal – he was later recognized for his 36 years of service to the district along with the last 18 at Lindbergh by Bob Lee, senior director of secondary education – the special event featured a record 188 candidates receiving their diplomas or certificates of completion.

Included were a record number of scholarships.

Besides Maudlin and Garcia, Ana Lazo (Manteca ROP Scholarship), Crystal Mora (Manteca Rotary Scholarship), and Tiara Lockhart (Manteca Rotary Scholarship) received recognition.

Lazo, who immigrated to the U.S. when she was 19, earned her diploma on behalf of her family – she and her husband, Jose, are parents of two young daughters – and as a stepping stone of becoming a nurse.

“The first door (towards that goal) is open,” Lazo said.

In addition, Pat Day took time to pay tribute to the graduates.

“You may be graduating later than the norm, but the point is you’re graduating,” said the Calvary Community Church pastor prior to his invocation.