We have had quite the cultural awakening over the past few weeks and it’s hard not to recognize that the face of our community has evolved immensely over the past few weeks. As we’ve opened our minds and hearts more, the reality is that businesses have had to close, reduce hours, and board up their storefronts. A quick thanks to Dustin Trotter who spent many hours connecting with local businesses and preparing them for the unknown. I am proud of the stand-up people in this community who really want to do well and prosper, and Dustin is no exception to that group. We also saw some really amazing young people in our community come together and stand up for a better place in which they could grow further into their adulthood and maybe raise a family of their own. It reiterates how important the youth is and how we need to nurture the next generation into being their best selves possible.
With that, there were about 750 students in Santee from Grossmont Union High School District who reached milestones over this past week, completing their K-12 education and moving into a new phase of life. These students had so much taken away from their traditional celebrations so it was our community and parents who stepped in to give them what they deserved, and better yet, what they had earned. Chick-fil-A hosted senior breakfasts, Al’s Sport Shop created custom yard signs to display, and the beloved Santee Drive-In even hosted what may be the most unique graduations in Santee to date! I saw students working hard (NOT complaining about what they were losing) and putting their best efforts forward to celebrate each other as peers truly united in a time where we’ve seen, felt and heard of so much divide.
When I saw a Facebook group where you could “adopt a senior” student in San Diego, I knew I wanted to participate. We chose a beautiful young lady named Chloe Obregon from West Hills. A child of two high school sweethearts who are also WHHS alum, Chloe and her brother introduced our son to the aquatics program on campus which has changed his entire high school experience. Chloe is a naturally kind, loving person who just radiates sunshine. Her polite and honest approach to life gains respect from adults and children alike, as she can relate to anyone and empathize with any situation. She also has such a strong sense of her own self at this age, it impresses me no doubt, but it also shows me what kind of a leader she is. We are so happy to have her in our life and we are proud of all she’s overcome to be able to stand fearless today. Congratulations to Chloe, and the entire graduating class of West Hills and Santana – you are a class we will never forget, 2020!