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Students Rally In Pursuit Of Higher Education
Seniors Cerena Bernal, left, and Jennifer Avalos, right, along with many other RHS seniors plan to be Army strong, Bernal enlisting as a reservist and Avalos as active duty military, shown here with Army Sgt. Carissa Boback. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS


Seniors all over the area are preparing for graduation and for many they have already made their plans for the upcoming fall. To encourage students to further their education, Riverbank High School has a Celebratory Signing rally for the seniors. Senior English Teacher and AVID District Director Nancy Garcia along with the help of leadership class personnel, organized the rally to commemorate the seniors’ choice of college, vocational training, or military duty. With more students pursuing college this year than last, the school administration is very pleased and believes this is cause for celebration.

There were 105 students that signed commitment forms to further their education and the event was shared on Michelle Obama’s website for the Reach Higher Initiative that was created to inspire students to continue their education after high school.

“I love the rally,” said RHS Principal Sean Richey. “We started it last year and we have had lots of positive comments from staff and students afterwards.”

There were several tables set up with a teacher or college representative from schools including UCLA, University of La Verne, UOP, UC Merced, and Modesto Junior College, to name a few.

“The rally arose out of an effort to make it more apparent how many of our students were moving on to higher education, the military, trade school, etc. after high school,” added Richey. “Our underclassmen are not always aware of what the seniors have planned or where they were going.

“This is our effort to celebrate the accomplishments of our senior class and to light a fire within the underclassmen that they can have that kind of success as well.”

The seniors are called up one at a time and sign a Celebratory commitment at the table designated for that particular college of their intent to continue their education after high school. They received a certificate and a raffle ticket. The drawing was at the end of the rally where the students had their choice of gift cards, supplies, and a skateboard.

“All in all, it was a great rally,” stated Richey.