HCISD Drives for Perfection

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With computers and phones charged, ready to go, hundreds of Harlingen CISD families turned to the internet to see who would win $30,000 worth of prizes from Gillman Chevrolet Harlingen. The Gillman Auto Group of the RGV has partnered with HCISD since 2013 to provide the Drive for Perfect Attendance Giveaway. While this year’s program was brought to an audience via a cyber awards presentation, the giveaway is unique because it is the only of its kind for the dealership with 10 stores statewide.

“COVID-19 has canceled many events around our community and our world, but we wanted to still make sure we provided this opportunity for students,” said Gillman Chevrolet Harlingen General Manager David Amaya. “We wish everyone could be here in person at Gillman Chevrolet in Harlingen. We want you to know that we are open and would welcome you to stop by and say ‘hello’ anytime.”

In the last seven years, Gillman has awarded $210,000 worth of prizes to deserving students. Specifically recognizing perfect attendance, these prizes are for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who did not miss a day of school for the academic year. This year, 624 HCISD students had their eye on the prize, a 2020 Chevy Sonic.

While the event usually draws a crowd of hundreds to the Harlingen dealership, Gillman Chevrolet knew this year’s presentation would need to look different. That’s when the dealership decided to live stream the event on Facebook. Eligible students and their families were notified in advance so they would not miss the big announcement.

“We are incredibly grateful to have Gillman Chevy as a partner to our school district,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “This is an incredible moment for our students. They are sending a message about the importance of going to school every day.”

As the names spun round and round in a golden-crafted raffle tumbler, there were a total of 14 prizes up for grabs. Ten students received $250 American Express gift cards, one student received an iPad mini, another a Microsoft Surface Pro, a MacBook Pro, and finally the Chevy Sonic.

The drawing of the last name drew much excitement for Gillman and HCISD staff. Cavazos carefully took out the white folded piece of paper and called out, “Harlingen High School’s Ramiro Mendoza.”

Because the event was held virtually, there needed to be an exciting and special way to recognize and surprise Ramiro. While winning the car remained a mystery to the high school junior and his family, Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos and David Amaya drove the car to Ramiro’s house. The surprise simultaneously brought joy and shock to Ramiro’s family.

“It’s amazing to win,” Ramiro said. “Being at school every day and working hard does pay off. I make sure I can get my education so I can go further in life with it.”

Having never missed a day of school since elementary, Gillman Chevrolet of Harlingen also awarded two students gift cards for lifetime perfect attendance. The full list of winners can be found at www.hcisd.org.

What kind of car would your high-schooler love to have? #JoinTheConversation at facebook.com/rgvisionmagazine.