‘Never give up’: Yakima graduating seniors visit schools to inspire young students

YAKIMA, Wash. — Graduating high school seniors paraded through Yakima elementary schools on Wednesday to celebrate moving on to the next chapter of their lives and inspire younger students not to give up on their education.

Students from the A.C. Davis High School class of 2022 put on their caps and gowns started their parade at Garfield Elementary, where all the students lined up to give them high-fives and congratulate the soon-to-be graduates.

“Completing public education and finishing with a high school diploma is a challenge for anyone, especially for a lot of our students who lack the resources and support around them to make it possible,” Garfield Elementary principal Steve Brownlow said.

Yakima Senior Grad Parade Garfield Elementary

Brownlow said several of the students who attended the parade are the first ones in their family to graduate from high school.

“So we’re really proud of the accomplishment and we hope that it sends a message to all of our students of how important this is,” Brownlow said. “Some of the students that attended today are actually… attended Garfield.”

KAPP-KVEW’s Emily Goodell asked the graduating seniors who were also former Garfield students and a group of third-graders what advice they have for each other as they continue their education:

  • “Do your work on time.” — Wendy Flores, A.C. Davis High School
  • “Focus on your studies and do what you want.” — Elizabeth Doan, A.C. Davis High School
  • “Study really hard to graduate and get a good job because if not, you’re going to be on the streets.” Keren Chaves Cruz, Garfield Elementary
  • “Enjoy school, enjoy being young and enjoy life in general.” — Heidi Ramirez, A.C. Davis High School
  • “Work hard, but also enjoy life and do not think that you have to rush on making decisions about what you want to be. Just enjoy life in general.” — Brittany Salazar Romero, A.C. Davis High School
  • “Always be positive. Never, ever be negative. And always be kind and gentle.” — Lydanna Llepez, Garfield Elementary
  • “Never give up.” — Alondra Chavez, A.C. Davis High School

The Davis High School students also went to  Washington Middle School and Roosevelt, Discovery Lab, Barge-Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Adams elementary schools.

“We want our students to realize that their education is incredibly important and so it’s events like this that will, I think, cement that thinking and help all of our kids and their families understand that,” Brownlow said.

Dwight D. Eisenhower High School’s graduating seniors visited Wilson Middle School and Whitney, Nob Hill, McClure, Hoover, Gilbert and Robinson elementary schools.

Brownlow said this is the first time they’ve done the graduate parade event, which was spearheaded by assistant principal Gané Bourgeois.

“It’s something that I hope that we can do for years to come,” Brownlow said. “I definitely think is going to have a lasting impact on our students.”

The Davis High School graduation ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the Yakima Sundome, followed by the Eisenhower High School graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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