Instead of buying a home, Maria and Leo Ramirez invested their money
in their children’s education.
On Saturday, mother and father beamed with pride as Joshua, the
youngest of four children and a National Honor Society member,
graduated magna cum laude from Providence High School. Joshua was
among 137 seniors who participated in the private school’s
commencement exercises inside Liberty Hall at Forest Lawn Hollywood.
“He’s the only one who had the opportunity to go to Providence,”
said Maria Ramirez, who also helped put three daughters through
college. “It’s a great school.”
While he was excited to be graduating, he is nervous about the
“I got comfortable with the environment [at Providence], and now I
have to start a new life,” said Joshua, who is deciding whether to
attend Cal Poly Pomona or San Diego State in the fall.
As he and his fellow graduates proceeded down the hall’s center
aisle wearing green mortarboards and gowns, proud family members and
friends pulled out cameras and video recorders to capture the
In her welcoming remarks, Principal Lucille Dean told the packed
auditorium that she was confident the members of the Class of 2003
were ready to go forth.
“They will make positive contributions in the world,” Dean said.
Senior class speaker Alan Sagherian said Providence teachers
taught the students things they will never forget -- as well as
things they will probably never use.
“Now that I know all of Shakespeare’s lines are written in iambic
pentameter, I can die a happy man,” Sagherian joked.
Fellow senior Santosh Desai received the service-oriented Mother
Joseph Award, the highest honor given to a Providence graduate, and
Michael Kramer was awarded the valedictorian medal for having the
highest grade-point average. Sean Kaloostian and Peter Refela
received medals for being co-salutatorians. Christina Padilla
received the 2003 Archdiocesan Christian Service Award.
Like many who received their diplomas, 18-year-old Stephanie
Simpson displayed mixed emotions.
“It was exciting,” Simpson said. “But I was sad today to be
leaving friends behind.”