UCR Alumni Association Honors Parent of the Year

By Robert Bastone, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
Darcie Bugg and family
Darcie Bugg (left) and her parents, Joy Bugg and Matt Bugg,

On Thursday, May 27, 2004 in the Common’s cafeteria, the UCR Alumni Association, in its annual meeting, honored its Parents of the Year Matt and Joy Bugg with the UCR Parents Association’s Annual Parent of the Year Award. The award was presented by the President of the Parent’s Association, Dolores Paniagua in recognition of the Bugg’s efforts and accomplishments as parents. The fifteen finalists for the honor were selected based upon essays that were submitted to the UCR Parents Association. The Bugg’s daughter, Darcie, a Creative Writing major here at UCR, submitted her essay outlining the decisions and sacrifices her parents made, and what she has learned from them.

Following is the essay submitted by Darcie Bugg in honor of her parents:

“My parents should be Parents of the Year because not only do they inspire and encourage me and my sister to be anybody we want, but they have guided and changed many children's lives throughout their years as educators.

“My parents understand the importance and value of higher education. They've made it their life's goal to help kids get to college and succeed. Being teachers for more than 25 years, they have influenced hundreds of lives. They worked for most of their careers in very poverty-stricken schools where most of the children come from migrant farm workers and immigrants who can't provide things kids need. Throughout my life, my parents have "adopted" several students from very poor families who couldn't provide not only the material things kids need, but also the love and support that my parents could offer. They saw potential in these kids, and knew that with their direction, they could go to college when most of the students in those schools don't. Several of these kids came to live with us, and my parents treated them just as they did my sister and I, including buying my "brother" Jesse his first car at age 16, even though the financial strain was difficult at times, and taking my "sister" Rogelia on family vacations to (among other places) San Francisco and New Orleans. At the age of 13, Rogelia had never seen the ocean, and my parents took her because otherwise she may never have seen it.

Jesse went on to graduate from UCR, the first person in his entire family to graduate from college, and he became a teacher, because he says my parents changed his life, and he wants to do the same for kids who are in his former situation. He's now an assistant principal at Coachella Valley High School, and he credits my parents for being where he is today. I too believe had it not been for my parents, Jesse would be in a very different place.

In June of 2000, my mother underwent serious surgery and was very sick in the hospital for two months. However, Rogelia was graduating from high school, and it was vital that my mom watch her graduate, accomplishing four years of hard work that more likely than not, Rogelia wouldn't have finished. So my mom forced herself up and went to her graduation. She got sicker from doing this, but she felt it was too important to miss, enough for her to put her health second.

That's what my parents have always done- put kids first. My father is now principal of a high school, where he continues to encourage higher education and pursuing career goals. My mother isn't in the classroom; however she is coordinator of a magnet elementary school. Together, my parents made a tremendous difference in students' lives. Being such prominent role-models and selfless people to so many kids has taught me the kind of person I want to be.”

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