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Local high school students chosen to participate in virtual graduation ceremony with VP Kamala Harris

graduation ceremony

Four high school students from the 36th Congressional District were selected by the White House to participate in a virtual graduation ceremony with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Congressman Raul Ruiz nominated Elizabeth Esteban from Desert Mirage High School, Omar Bahena-Salgado from Desert Hot Springs High School, Emma Hernandez from Beaumont High School, and Ariana Castañeda-Gutierrez from Indio High School to participate in the ceremony.  

“I am extremely proud of our four local students who were selected to participate in this week's virtual graduation ceremony with Vice President Harris,” said Ruiz. “Elizabeth, Omar, Emma, and Ariana represent the best and brightest of our communities. Their perseverance, grit, hard work, and ability to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams is inspiring."

“Listening to Vice President Harris deliver her powerful speech was more than I could imagine,” said Desert Mirage High School student, Elizabeth Esteban

“My participation in the virtual graduation with [Vice President] Harris was meaningful because it allowed me to get her perspective on how she was able to overcome adversity,” said Desert Hot Springs High School student, Omar Bahena-Salgado.

“I really needed to hear her words of encouragement- she stood and delivered just that,” said Beaumont High School student, Emma Hernandez.  

“I feel honored to be able to have participated in such an amazing ceremony,” said Indio High School student, Ariana Castañeda-Gutierrez. 

The virtual graduation ceremony aired on CNN Sunday.

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Tom Tucker

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