Paramount, CA – Karina Cortes Garcia walked through a crowded Paramount High School gymnasium on May 24, proudly holding a certificate that displayed her college destination of the University of California, Berkeley.

Garcia was one of nearly 370 college-bound seniors who gathered for University Celebration Day, which honored students for their acceptance to four-year universities. The group shared lunch and memories as PHS staff recognized each by name and awarded them with congratulatory certificates.

“It makes me really happy to see all of my friends on their way college and to know that we all achieved this together,” Garcia said. “I’m so excited for everyone to begin their college experience.”

Garcia said she will major in sociology and chose UC Berkeley because of the community activism. Garcia was joined at the PHS senior gathering by scholars heading to schools across the U.S.
Valedictorian Fernanda Corona is on her way to Duke University and salutatorian Armando Alexis Torres will attend Stanford University. Other college destinations include UCLA, Louisiana State University and Grand Canyon University.

Celebratory banners and signs hung in the gymnasium and staff handed students T-shirts that read “Keep Calm Because I’m Going to College.” Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez attended the celebration and encouraged the seniors to keep pushing toward their goals.

“This is only the beginning of the success you will accomplish in your lives, and I encourage you to continue dreaming big,” Pérez said. “As you reach new heights, you will inspire your families, friends and the Paramount community to also aspire to excellence.”

The seniors posed for pictures in front of a University Celebration Day backdrop and relished one of their final high school moments.

“We are so proud of our seniors for continuing to raise the bar of achievement in our District,” Paramount Board of Education President Vivian Hansen said. “As they embark on the next stage of their academic careers, they will do so with our full support and encouragement.”


060118_PARAMOUNT_UNIVERSITYCELEBRATION1: Paramount High School seniors hold signs that show their college destinations during University Celebration Day on May 24.

060118_PARAMOUNT_UNIVERSITYCELEBRATION2: Nearly 370 college-bound Paramount High School seniors gathered for University Celebration Day on May 24