Cathedral City honored two local graduates by naming streets in honor of them Monday morning. As part of a yearly tradition, the city renames the street adjacent to the students' respective schools for one year.
The corner of Date Palm Drive and Dave Kelley Road was renamed at 6:30 a.m. in honor of Cathedral City High Golden Lion awardee Daniela Castillo.
"It's very surreal. I always saw it happening for other students and getting recognized and I always thought it was amazing but it's really incredible and unbelievable seeing my own name up there after four years of high school," Castillo said.
Castillo earned at 4.7 GPA during her time at CCHS and also served as the Associated Student Body executive vice president. She excelled in athletics, being part of the varsity track and cross country teams and placing fourth as an All Desert Valley League Cross Country runner.
Castillo also volunteered around the community, including at Eisenhower Health and her church, Our Lady of Solitude in Palm Springs.
Castillo will be attending UC Berkeley as a Public Health major, where she intends to pursue a PhD. She also plans to join the Peace Corps as a health volunteer
At 7:30 a.m., the corner of Landau Boulevard and McCallum Way was renamed in honor of Mount San Jacinto High graduate Yvette Munoz-Duarte.
Munoz-Duarte struggled in middle school and her first two years of high school. According to PSUSD, she was shy, lacked self-confidence, and struggled with reading.
"I had to overcome a lot of challenges. I had to find myself, I had to believe in myself, I had to stop caring about what over people told I could and couldn't do, and I did it," Munoz-Duarte said.
Her family, friends, teachers, and counselors helped her find her self-confidence, allowing her to overcome her early issues, and excel in school. She was even able to complete her graduating requirements early.
Munoz-Duarte's grandfather, who has since passed away, recognized and stated to her that everyone has a "special power." Munoz-Duarte believes hers is with her healing hands. She is currently enrolled at College of the Desert in pursuit of a career in Nursing.
With a little motivation and support, Munoz-Duarte is a prime example of how alternative education can connect with students, lift their confidence and change their life’s trajectory.