High school history believed made during ceremony for Class of 2022

Palm Springs High School has been sending graduates out into the world for more than 80 years. At its 2022 graduation ceremony on May 26, something may have happened for the very first time.

Driving the news: When Ryan Buchanan took the stage as valedictorian, he is believed to be the first Black student to receive the honor, according to leaders of the African American Parent Advisory Council.

What they’re saying: During his speech, Buchanan took the opportunity to remind his fellow graduates that it’s important to be authentic and true to who they really are. 

  • “Don’t make choices that other people want you to make,” he said. “If they don’t contribute to your goals or your future than you don’t have to make them. I’m not saying not to look out for other people or listen to advice, but you really need to have yourself at the forefront of your future.”

Up next: Buchanan, 18, was part of a group of students who toured Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) this past spring. He graduated with a 4.81 GPA and is off to UCLA on a full scholarship in the fall.

  • He said Monday he plans to study civil engineering.

But wait: In addition to Buchanan, the Class of 2022 also heard from salutatorians Jennie Marie Cara and Salvador Jimenez, and senior class president Dezirey Blodgett. Athletes of the year Keona Corona and Dylan Armendariz were recognized as well.

Dive deeper by viewing the entire graduation ceremony here.

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