Paramount, CA – Paramount High School’s valedictorian Fernanda Corona and salutatorian Armando Alexis Torres urged classmates to stand strong in the face of challenges and praised them for their perseverance on June 7 as the school graduated nearly 1,000 seniors.
In front of more than 6,000 families, friends and educators, Corona addressed her Class of 2018 peers as they faced the setting sun.
“I think I figured out why they made us face the sun because, just as we’re facing the sun, we’re going to have to face reality,” said Corona, who earned a 4.5 GPA. “There will be times when we will be discriminated against for color, gender or size, and there will be times when life will beat you and slap you and just leave you there.”
“There will be times when the adults in our lives will assert their power to benefit themselves. But today the world has to realize something important – in a few minutes we will be graduated adults and, in a few years, we will be the ones making the decisions that will force them to look at the bright sun,” Corona said.
Corona earned a $40,000 Edison International Scholarship, which will go toward the cost of attendance at Duke University, where she will study biomedical engineering.
The Paramount High School band and choir serenaded the graduates and attendees with a selection that included the graduation classic, “Pomp and Circumstance” and a stirring rendition of the song “I’ll Be on My Way.”
Torres is one of 300 students to win the 2018 Gates Scholarship, which will cover all unmet costs of college attendance at Stanford University.
“We are all so proud of our graduates and what they have accomplished through hard work and commitment to their education,” Paramount Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “While this graduation marks the culmination of high school, this is also just the beginning. We know the best has yet to come from our Class of 2018 graduates.”
More than 370 Paramount graduates will continue their education at four-year universities and many more will attend community colleges and trade schools.
“I am blown away at how many graduates we have each year – the number keeps growing,” Paramount Unified Board President Vivian Hansen said. “I am so proud of our students for continuing to build a standard of excellence in our community. Congratulations Class of 2018!”
060818_PARAMOUNT_GRADUATION1: Paramount High School celebrates nearly 1,000 graduates in the Class of 2018 with a commencement ceremony on June 7.
060818_PARAMOUNT_GRADUATION2: Paramount High School seniors celebrate their successful pursuit of a diploma during a memorable graduation ceremony.