Gateway High Seniors and their loved ones had a rare opportunity to come together and cheer their truly singular accomplishments on Friday, April 30, at the school’s Drive-Up Decision Day event, a celebration of the Class of 2021’s first steps toward post-high school life.
An beloved GHS tradition, Decision Day usually takes the form of an on-campus event with seniors the star of the show, revealing where they’ve decided to attend college. This year’s outdoors, socially distanced celebration was no less grand however, with student volunteers from the School Culture Committee and staff putting together music, photo ops, goodies and more for seniors and their families.
“This year, of all years, we want to take the opportunities to celebrate our seniors as much as possible,” said Jenna Marx, GHS College Counselor and Student Opportunities Coordinator. “This was a challenging year for college applicants, and these students handled it with grace and good spirits.”
Seniors and their families turned out with balloons, flowers, and college regalia that spoke to college plans as varied as the students themselves. From the East Coast to universities right in our own Bay Area backyard, Gateway alumni will be represented at campuses and in majors across the country.
“I knew I wanted to go to Howard since my dad took me and my siblings to visit DC when I was in the 8th grade,” said GHS Senior Siyani, who plans to study English and Political Science with the aim of becoming an attorney. “I didn’t know if I would get in until I was at a sleepover at my cousin’s house… I got the notification when I was lying on a cold air mattress! I was so shocked I couldn’t even read the letter… I just kept saying ‘I got into Howard!’”
Some students already have their gaze set firmly beyond college, with plans for grad school and careers.
“I’m majoring in biochemistry because I want to go to grad school to be a surgeon, and that’s one of the best majors to get you there,” said Lizandro, who will be attending UCLA in the fall. “Growing up in a low income family made me want to do something that can really benefit others, and helping people access health care and hospitals can make a big difference in a community.”
Happily, this won’t be the last occasion for seniors to revel in their accomplishments at Gateway this year; in accordance with the most recent public health directives, GHS will be able to hold an invite-only outdoors, socially-distanced graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 on June 5, 2021. More information about this year’s festivities will be available in the coming weeks.