When Alondra Gonzalez was concluding her years of middle school, she begged her mother to allow her to put in a transfer request to attend Summit High School.
Her mother was uncertain about the idea, but eventually she went along with it, and Gonzalez is very grateful that she did.
Gonzalez said she found "sanctuary and creativity" at Summit when she joined ASB as a freshman, and she later became president of the Class of 2021.
"I feel honored to represent such a historic class today," she said during her speech at Summit's commencement ceremony on June 10 at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino.
"High school is not easy; in fact, there were many days where the unexpected circumstances (due to the coronavirus crisis) had us wondering if the hard work was worth it, but being here is proof that it was."
Now she will be heading to Cal State Fullerton in the fall, majoring in business marketing.
"As senior class president, I'd like to wish you all luck on your future endeavors, as I firmly believe success is not defined by the grades, popularity, or money, but by the mental strength you create to navigate life's obstacles and reject the negativity that lives among us," she said.
Principal Renee Castanon praised the students, parents, and teachers whose efforts led to Summit being named a California Distinguished School.
"Seniors, this is a wonderful day for you as you mark the end of one great effort and the beginning of another," Castanon said. "Nothing that is worth celebrating is accomplished without enduring tests of personal strength and commitment.
"We are all proud of your accomplishments today and we are confident that you will take the lessons learned here at Summit High School wherever life's journeys may take you."