Immigrant, Veteran, Graduate: A Walking Hallmark Channel Special

At a recent University of San Diego awards banquet, graduating senior Johnny Chinchilla was accompanied by — fidget, yawn, ho-hum — his 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.

“You could tell they were thinking, ‘He’s just my dad,’” said Cynthia Avery, assistant vice president for student affairs.

Then Dad was honored for student leadership. Received a second award for service to student government. Finally a new award for perseverance, this last honor named for its inaugural recipient, Jhonnaton “Johnny” Chinchilla.

“You could see their eyes open wide,” Avery said of Chinchilla’s children. “They realized he is kind of a big deal.”

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