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Valley Vista graduates advance to life’s next adventure

Gracie Collins gets a hug from a family member after receiving her diploma at the Valley Vista High graduation ceremony.
Gracie Collins gets a hug from a family member after receiving her diploma during the Valley Vista High graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

With drive-up graduations in the rearview mirror now that the pandemic has waned, Valley Vista High School hosted its commencement ceremony Wednesday afternoon in the campus quad.

Graduates entered the ceremony by walking down the aisle with friends and family seated on either side of them.

Graduate Evelyn Meek smiles as Kendal Ussery and Kaia Seck, from left, adjust her cap and gown.
Graduate Evelyn Meek smiles as Kendal Ussery and Kaia Seck, from left, adjust her cap and gown as they prepare for the Valley Vista High graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Principal Jessie Marion said the school had 137 graduates in its Class of 2022. She announced the names of the graduates, as well as their college, career and life goals as they crossed the stage.

Senior Kaia Seck received a $3,500 scholarship from the Simon Youth Foundation. Kyle Nguyen and Seck gave the senior speeches during the ceremony.

Student speaker Kyle Nguyen walks to the podium for his comments during the Valley Vista High graduation ceremony.
Student speaker Kyle Nguyen walks to the podium for his comments during the Valley Vista High graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

In her speech, Seck applauded her classmates for proving wrong those who had doubted them.

“I want all the graduates to know how proud everyone here is of you all and how proud you should be of yourselves,” Seck said. “We really showed everyone that was ever uncertain of our success that they were wrong and have brought ourselves a very long way. I know we all have bright futures ahead of us. We are now finally starting our lives as adults, and one day, we will all look back and appreciate our younger selves getting through these hard years.”

Wearing a colorful class of 2022 stole, Grecia Soto walks up to get her diploma during the Valley Vista High graduation.
Wearing a colorful class of 2022 stole, Grecia Soto walks up to get her diploma during the Valley Vista High graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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