Birds leaving the nest: Parents’ take on graduation

Parents discuss their children’s graduation as they soon begin the next chapter of their lives

The class of 2022 celebrating their graduation at the Santa Ana Stadium (Los Alamitos High)

Los Al

The class of 2022 celebrating their graduation at the Santa Ana Stadium (Los Alamitos High)

Sofia Youngs, Editor

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — As Los Alamitos High School’s senior’s inch closer to graduation, senior parents express their thoughts as their children soon walk across the stage at graduation.

“Think big, work hard, have fun!” Mrs. Fox, a math teacher at Los Al and mother of Kyler Fox, said.

To most senior parents, knowing that their child will soon throw their caps into the air in celebration only brings love and gratification. All of the hard work, the sleepless nights, and the 9 p.m. runs to Target to buy a poster board for a project the next day paid off. Soon, these high school seniors will enter adulthood, and it is their choice of what path their life will lead. Whether college, trade school, or a gap year, parents and students alike should be proud of the accomplishments and strife they took to reach the success they wished for.

Although an exciting time, having any child leave the nest, whether firstborn or third, is never easy. Many parents feel a sense of grief, feeling as if they are losing a child for good. However, independence is something to be embraced and the only way to humbly learn from others. Whether in college or another path, Los Al parents hope for every senior to acknowledge the unknown and step into it with pride.

“Continue learning, growing, and changing as a person,” Tracy and Dina Alcantar, parents of Hallie Alcantar, said. Next fall, Hallie will be attending Chapman University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Halle Alcantar’s college announcement post on her Instagram. (@halliealcantar via Instagram)

Los Al’s senior population varies greatly; many students, like Bobby Leer, who is a part of the special needs program on campus, are pursuing what seems, to most, an unconventional curriculum next fall.

“My son Bobby is excited to move on to our district’s Adult Transition Program (ATP). For some high school students in special education, ATP provides them with the next step in their life’s journey. Bobby’s plans after high school may look a little different than most students, but as his mom, I want what all moms want for their child – for him to be happy and a productive member of society,” said Bobby’s mom, Michelle Leer.

Parents and students alike strive for a life that they know they can succeed in and, although to many, college seems like the answer, to others, programs like ATP are the next stage to reach the success they know they have the ability to achieve.