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Monarchs prepare for graduation

Valley College and the district will have a number of graduation resources for students who plan to walk the stage.

By Natalie Metcalf, Valley Life Editor

Four graduation celebrations are planned for this season, as the June 6 commencement date rears its cap and tassel head.

With commencement underway, students can RSVP for their graduation celebration of their choosing. No matter a Monarch’s background, there are celebrations for graduates in all areas. The three events scheduled for late May and early June are the Lavender Graduation Celebration on May 25, the Black Graduation on June 1, the Mi Gente Graduation Celebration on June 3 and Asian Pacific Islander and Desi American Graduation Cultural Celebration on May 27. Every graduation celebration’s goal is to bring together communities and celebrate student’s various backgrounds, cultures and identities.

“I think giving them that sense of achievement and also having their family members and friends come and celebrate with them I think is really important,” said Acting Associate Dean of Student Equity Cecilia Cruz, in regards to the graduation celebrations throughout the district. “Students need a lot of strength and courage and motivation to transfer and move on to their next step. Hopefully the celebrations will give them [students] a little bit of energy and courage to do that.”

The Lavender Graduation Celebration takes place on May 25 at 4 p.m. The ceremony will take place in the Culinary Arts Event Space at Trade Tech College. Students from the LGBTQIA+ community will be celebrated in this event. Cruz and Natalie Guerrero, the head counselor and coordinator of the Rainbow Pride Center on campus, will be attending the district celebration and are on the district committee for the Lavender Graduation Celebration.

“The lavender graduation is an opportunity for students to celebrate in a more intimate way,” said Guerrero, who will be speaking at the celebration.

The second grad-event will be the Black Graduation on June 1. This is the thirteenth Black graduation celebration in the district. Black students will celebrate their career milestone at First AME Church of Los Angeles. The graduation ceremony will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Then an award ceremony and after party will ensue from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“I feel both sad yet excited, it’s very bittersweet,” said Jana Palmer, the vice president of Umoja Black Scholars in reference to graduating Valley. “I didn’t even know about the different graduations until a little while ago. I feel like being recognized as a Black student, as a Black scholar is really important. Everyone being acknowledged for their academic success and their endeavors makes it more heartfelt and personal.”

The second year student will be graduating this semester and will move to North Carolina to transfer. She will also be attending the Black Graduation Celebration in June.

The third event is the Mi Gente Graduation Celebration, which will take place on June 3 at 10 a.m. at Trade Tech College. This celebration focuses on bringing together Latino students and their families from all nine colleges in the district.

The Asian Pacific Islander and Desi American Graduation Cultural Celebration will be on May 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to an RSVP email sent out by the district, Monarchs can save their seat in the celebration. The event will take place at City College.

Monarchs can now buy their graduation cap, gown, tassel and sash at the campus bookstore. Graduation gowns are categorized by height.

“I would advise graduating students to stay motivated, to not delay in moving forward with their careers or education,” said Cruz, in her advice to graduating students this semester. “And if they are interested in pursuing other degrees –– to go for it. The sky’s the limit.”

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