In a school district with about 28,000 seniors, Los Angeles Unified School District students Yahir Flores and Danny Gomez represent two of only about 12 of those who will be graduating without missing a single day of school since kindergarten.
Flores is the son of Mexican immigrants who had to stop school by the sixth grade to work. They came to the U.S. for a better life and to them, this moment is the American dream.
“They pushed me so hard every day to get up and go to school,” Flores said. He is graduating with a 4.1 GPA as a Biliteracy Award recipient.
Flores plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara with a nearly full financial aid grant.
Then there’s Danny Gomez, also the son of immigrants with a middle school education, but who came to South Los Angeles with a bigger vision.
Gomez said he was surprised to find out he had perfect attendance for 13 years.
“First and foremost, I think I have to mention my parents,” Gomez said. “There was days I felt horrible … but for me, what I did is I put everything aside and focused on the task at hand.”
Gomez is graduating from Downtown Magnets High School with a 4.4 GPA and is also a Biliteracy Award recipient. He has plans to attend UCLA like his older sister and would like become a physician.
“I think South Central has so many brilliant minds … I just don’t think we’re given the opportunities to really excel,” Gomez said.
A special ceremony will be held Wednesday afternoon to honor the seniors, who will graduate Thursday.