Four graduating seniors at Leffingwell High School in Cambria received their diplomas Wednesday afternoon during a ceremony in front of the school.
Daniel Forrest delivered the valedictory address during the 50-minute commencement, and each of the four students participating received scholarships to further their educations.
The other three graduates present Wednesday were Nicos Ardis, Cristian Gonzalez and Corrina Hogaboom. Saul Becerra graduated but did not attend.
Superintendent Victoria Schumacher congratulated the students on “succeeding in the face of true challenges in your lives.” She urged them to take advantage of all the resources at their disposal, especially at Cuesta College.
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“You’ve taken the road less traveled,” she said. “Some people choose their 30s to mature, and you’ve chosen your teens to mature and move forward with your lives.”
In his valedictory speech, Forrest addressed his fellow students, urging them to pursue “what sets your heart on fire,” imagery that seemed all the more appropriate on an unusually warm late-spring afternoon.
“You have only one chance to follow your dreams, and too many people lose that chance,” he said. “If you give up, you’ve already lost. … Don’t underestimate yourself, because they already underestimate you.” He concluded with an exhortation: “The world is in our hands now. Let’s go make the most of it.”
Each of the four students on hand Thursday received multiple scholarships and awards. Forrest was chosen to receive the American Legion Post 432 Honor Medal.
Scholarships awarded were as follows:
- American Legion Post 432, to Gonzalez.
- American Legion Auxiliary, to Forrest.
- Art Hiatt Scholarship, to Ardis.
- Cayucos Lions and Lionesses, to Hogaboom.
- Cambria Lions, to Ardis.
- Mark and Lynn Schoennauer, to Ardis.
- Cambria Rotary, to Forrest and Gonzalez.
- Rotary Club Sunrise Centennial, to Forrest.
- Sally Angel Memorial Scholarship (Odd Fellows, IOOF No. 181) , to Ardis, Forrest and Hogaboom.
- Thaddeus Sherman Masonic Lodge, to Ardis.
- University Women of Cambria, to Hogaboom.