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Two generations received recognition at Bachman Lake Together’s annual Community Action Network (CAN) graduation ceremony, which celebrated the achievements of parent leaders and preschool graduates in the Bachman Lake community of Dallas. 

Eighteen Bachman Lake-area parents graduated from the nine-month CAN program, which equipped them with the skills and knowledge to advance their children's education and well-being. Additionally, 13 parents, who completed advanced levels of the program, were also celebrated for their achievements in volunteer leadership and early education advocacy. 

The bilingual ceremony, held at the Bachman Recreation Center, marked the culmination of Bachman Lake Together’s CAN parent leadership program, which empowers parents to become advocates for their children's education and leaders in the community. Additionally, 16 preschool graduates from AVANCE North Texas joined their parents in celebrating this milestone, recognizing the shared success of two generations.

Bachman Lake Together Executive Director Olga Martinez Hickman, Ph.D., welcomed the audience of Bachman Lake families, and Bachman Lake Together partners and supporters, saying, “Every day I get the honor of experiencing the magic of parent leadership first-hand – whether it’s witnessing a family enrolling their child in school for the first time, talking to a partner about the power of community voice they have seen in one of our meetings, or listening to a parent speak of their leadership journey. Today we know that the change that is happening in our community is due to the wonderful parent leaders who are here in front of you.”

George Rodriguez, chairman of the Bachman Lake Together Board of Trustees, added, “The parents graduating today are leaders dedicated to improving the lives not only of their children, but also of countless families in the Bachman Lake community – and beyond. They are developing their voices as leaders, recruiting families in the neighborhood to register for Pre-K and taking on volunteer leadership roles. They have the power to transform this community.” 

During the ceremony, Yesenia Cardoza Ramirez, Dallas ISD Director of Family & Community Engagement in Early Learning, delivered a keynote address, highlighting the importance of parent engagement in children's education. Graduates shared their personal experiences in the program, emphasizing the transformative impact it had on their families' lives. 

Among those graduates was Gabriela Pacas, who described how her experience in the CAN program inspired her, saying, “When parents are informed, they have the power to build a better future for their children, and early education is a fundamental part of our children’s success.” 

To close the ceremony, the preschool-age AVANCE graduates performed a song, “Súbete al tren de la alegría (All Aboard the Happy Train).”

Bachman Lake Together extends its gratitude to its partners, volunteers and supporters for their commitment to empowering families and building a stronger community. The organization remains dedicated to its mission of uniting the Bachman Lake community to fully prepare children for kindergarten – academically, socially, and emotionally – so they thrive in school and in life.


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