African American students wrapped in love, and a special gift, during celebration of success

A Monday evening ceremony at Rancho Mirage High School was an opportunity to celebrate the success of roughly 120 African-American graduating seniors, as well as some underclassmen, in the Palm Springs Unified School District.

The event: The district’s Anti Racism Coalition and African American Parent Advisory Council (AAPAC) honored students from all grade levels at each area high school and presented outgoing seniors with Kente stoles.

  • “The stoles represent your connection to Africa,” Jarvis Crawford, AAPAC chair of student enrichment, told students who took the stage.

  • “This is not a graduation. This is a love gift that we give to you,” added Jackie Terry, AAPAC secretary. 
Palm Springs High School students Shayley Johnson and Morgan Kennedy were some of the students honored Monday evening at Rancho Mirage High School.

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Special year: Everyone in the room had extra reason to celebrate this school year. For the first time, two dozen students form the district were able to take part in a tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in April (We told that story here).

  • The tour was driven by AAPAC President Charlie Ervin and supported by $60,000 from the district and $4,000 in donations from the community.

What it means: Tiffany Moore, whose son Dennis was one of the students who went on the HBCU tour, spoke to the audience and offered not only heartfelt thanks but valuable words of advice to students.

  • “There is more to this world than these palm trees and these mountains. So, dream big and see what this world has to offer.” 

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