Community organizer holds graduation ceremony for Virginia College students after school closes

Graduation ceremony held for Virginia College grads thanks to community leader

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One man in the community is holding a graduation ceremony for Virginia College students after the school recently announced the shutdown of all of its campuses nationwide.

Daniel Banguel, the founder and CEO of the Louisiana Educational Advancement Project, a non-profit dedicated to empowering kids in at-risk communities to pursue higher education, wants the community to support the students, faculty, and staff during this uncertain time. Banguel says he feels the students have been mistreated.

Daniel Banguel, founder/CEO of the Louisiana Educational Advancement Project
Daniel Banguel, founder/CEO of the Louisiana Educational Advancement Project (Source: Louisiana Educational Advancement Project)

“I am very saddened by the news regarding the school’s closure. I am fully committed to providing a commencement ceremony for all students who have purchased their cap and gowns. I am very proud of everyone’s hard work, and although this may seem like a setback, I want to encourage these students not to give up,” said Benguel.

The ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Bethany North. The commencement speech will be given by Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, commissioner of higher education for the State of Louisiana.

“This is what our community is supposed to do when things like this happen. We need to come together and make sure our community receives the treatment that they deserve. I will always be the champion for my community even if I have to do it alone,” said Banguel.

Students who have achieved all requirements to participate in the commencement ceremony of Virginia College should email info@leapla.org for more information about the ceremony.

“I am so happy that Mr. Banguel did this graduation for us. I am very appreciative of everything. After the school said ‘no’ to graduation, I was happy that somebody said ‘yes.’ I just want to say thank you on behalf of all the Virginia College students,” said Brian Nance, Virginia College student ambassador.

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