All of the students are approaching graduation with a sense of excitement

It seemed a fitting time to reach back out to our student board members who authored the December and January articles and ask them about their plans for the future. All of the students are approaching graduation with a sense of excitement, ready to put the year of COVID-19 behind them and embrace college life. Below are the reflections of four of our student board members.

DSUSD Seniors Approaching Graduation 2021

Emma Svoboda

Emma Svoboda shared in her original article that her dream was to play basketball at a Division I school. She is on her way! In December she told us, “I have been blessed to practice the sport that I love throughout all of this. I have a hoop in my driveway so you can catch me out there every night working on my game.” She heads to college out of state saying, “Following graduation, I have chosen to pursue my academic and athletic career at the University of Oklahoma. I plan on studying kinesiology, with hopes of becoming either an athletic trainer or a gym owner who focuses on injury prevention and helping athletes become better versions of themselves. At OU, I will be joining their women’s basketball program and I am hoping to make an impact on the team and become an overall better basketball player. I cannot wait to see where this crazy life of mine takes me as a student, athlete, and a person.”  – Emma Svoboda, La Quinta High School (Emma is a summa cum laude graduate)

DSUSD Seniors Approaching Graduation 2021

Sergio Casarrubias

In Sergio’s original article he wrote, “Now in a perfect world, I’d always have a positive attitude, but it took time to accept the reality of not having my ideal senior year. But I’ve learned to appreciate the things I’m able to do and not complain about the things I can’t.” He was happy to share his plans for next year and beyond. “I am excited to share that I will be attending UC Santa Cruz this fall, studying theatre arts and music. Although I am currently minoring in music, I plan to declare it as my double major in the future. My dream is to build up my skills and start a Broadway acting career. After earning my degree, I plan to get a teaching credential in music or/and theatre arts to fulfill my long-term wish of becoming an educator. I believe UCSC will give me the resources I need to ensure a bright future. Go Banana Slugs!” – Sergio Casarrubias, Indio High School

DSUSD Seniors Approaching Graduation 2021

Danica Larson

Among insights provided in Danica Larson’s earlier article, she noted, “Although the COVID-19 situation has been overall an unfortunate and troubling time for everyone, my family, friends and school have found a way to keep things positive!” To close out her thoughts on the year she shares this, “Being back at school has been great, especially now with all of the hybrid students on campus at the same time. It feels a lot more normal. One of the best developments of the last few months was the return of high school sports. I was able to cheer at football games for the last time and we kept “The Flag” (editor’s note: The Flag is the annual football game between Palm Desert and La Quinta high schools.! I just committed to attend San Diego State in the fall and am looking forward to that new chapter in my life. Until then I’m going to spend time with friends and appreciate special events like graduation.” – Danica Larson, Palm Desert High School (Danica is a summa cum laude graduate)

DSUSD Seniors Approaching Graduation 2021

Angela Torres

In an honest reflection on student life during a pandemic, Angela Torres told us about her challenges but ended with a positive note. In her article she included, “I’m not going to lie, it’s been difficult. There have been ups and downs. But I’ve been able to find a productive way to manage. I made sure my mental health came first before anything else.” She gets ready for graduation by explaining, “As my last few weeks of being a high school student come to an end I find myself thinking about my future almost every waking hour and, to be honest, it excites me! I will be attending CSUSB-Palm Desert campus, where I will be majoring in communications with a specialization in public relations, in hopes of one day becoming a part of the NBA’s public relations team. I am very thankful I get to stay close to home, but even more thankful for all the opportunities I have been given along the way. Thank you SHHS… Once a KNIGHT, always a KNIGHT, but now I am a COYOTE!” Angela Torres, Shadow Hills High School

DSUSD Seniors Approaching Graduation 2021Nathaly Diaz related that “my life during quarantine has been a rollercoaster. Every day comes with new and different experiences.” She prepares to graduate with the future in mind and not the past, “As my last year of high school is coming to a close, it amazes me how each and everyone one of us grew into amazing adults. Seeing everyone one with glee soon to be going off into college, university, or even just work. As for me I will be going to College of the Desert to pursue my studies in the music industry along with acting; with hopes that after my two years of attending, I will be accepted to an acting school in Hollywood. Although, if my plan weren’t to work out, I would love to attend culinary school as cooking is also one of my passions. With this being said, these are my goals and dreams for the future that I hope will happen after graduating high school.” – Nathaly Diaz, Summit High School

Congratulations and best wishes to the future to Emma, Sergio, Danica, Angela, Nathaly, and the other 2,000-plus Desert Sands seniors who will graduate in the weeks ahead.


Image Sources

  • Danica Larson: DSUSD
  • Angela Torres: DSUSD
  • Nathaly Diaz: DSUSD
  • Graduation: Pixaby