Graduating seniors encouraged to reach for “endless opportunities”

BARSTOW, Calif. — Sixty-three graduating seniors from Silver Valley High School walked across the stage to receive their diplomas May 22. Speakers at the school’s 39th commencement urged the Class of 2018 to make a positive impact wherever they reside.

“We really made the most of our resources here,” said valedictorian Lydia Liu.  “We are a mixed group, a patchwork of different walks of life all stitched together under this desert sky. And that’s awesome.”

Musical renditions of the national anthem, played by senior Chardone Smith on his saxophone, and “How Far I’ll Go,” sung by Brianna Jarman and Sherlyn Miller, kicked off the ceremony.  Following the performances, commencement speaker Col. Seth Krummrich, the Fort Irwin garrison commander, remarked on the talent of the senior class and congratulated the graduates on their studies and perseverance.

“You live in America, where you are judged on your merits and accomplishments,” Krummrich said. He encouraged the class to take advantage of “endless opportunities” that much of the world is not afforded.

He also acknowledged the seniors from Fort Irwin, who travel an hour each way to attend the school.  Despite the long commute, seniors like EJ Ane and Sam Hassan excelled in their high school careers at Silver Valley. Both received scholarships to assist in their future goals.

Ane, who played running back and several other positions on the Silver Valley varsity football team, received a scholarship to continue his education and football career at San Jose State University. Ane said he plans on taking advantage of the school’s Silicon Valley location to pursue “realistic opportunities.”

Hassan received the Barstow Community Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship and will attend California State University, Bakersfield in the fall. He plans to study kinesiology and physical therapy. In the future, he said he would like to work with Soldiers and military families.

Krummrich ended his commencement speech by once more congratulating the senior class.

“I truly believe that you are the most powerful and influential generation this world has ever seen,” he said.

In the end, horns were blown, confetti thrown, and parents screamed out and cried as the graduates’ names were read.


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