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Seniors from Estacada High School say honor will help them with their future endeavors

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Estacada High School seniors Victoria Martinez, Cindy Ucan and Noemi Castrejon earned the Oregon State Seal of Biliteracy

Six Estacada High School seniors are the school's first students to earn a language award from the state.

Noemi Castrejon, Victoria Martinez and Cindy Ucan are three of the seniors who were awarded the Oregon State Seal of Biliteracy. To earn the seal, students must meet all graduation requirements, pass a skills test for reading and writing in English, and pass a test in the second language focused on reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Ucan, Castrejon and Martinez earned the seal for Spanish.

According to a document from the state of Oregon, "The State Seal of Biliteracy is established to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking in one or more world language in addition to English."

Last year, 1,601 students from 35 Oregon school districts earned the Seal of Biliteracy.

All three Estacada students were excited to learn they had received the award.

"It's a great accomplishment since it was the first time we had the test at the school," Martinez said.

They noted that it will be a valuable asset for their future goals. Castrejon plans to study psychology at Portland State University. Ucan plans to study cosmetology at Mt. Hood Community College and to open a bilingual salon. Martinez plans to study world cultures at Portland State University.

"It's a good opportunity," Ucan said. "It proves your understanding (of language)."

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