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Graduates show Salt Lake City students to stay in school

East High School seniors in caps and gowns went down the hallways of several elementary schools Wednesday for a “grad walk,” encouraging kids to look towards their future.

Principal Dan Aragon says this is the first time the grads have ever visited the Riley Elementary school.

“I hope they see themselves in the future. And not just for high school, but for college graduation, too.”

Hundreds of students lined the halls at several Salt Lake City elementary schools today, watching this year’s graduating class come through and give them high fives. The East High seniors say it was a great experience.

Senior Laurent Ntakarutimanasaid said, “as we went through the halls and saw all the little kids cheering us on, it was a great feeling, knowing we started where they are, and we are here now.”

The seniors went to other schools today that will feed into East High as well.

Many schools that feed into East High School feel the impacts of poverty. Teachers say the kids are learning they can get through the hard times and go on to graduate.

“I think it shows them they can do things we are doing right now. We are setting an example for them,” said senior Raul Preciado.

Dan Aragon says he hopes his students saw their future selves in the graduates.

“Our families here, they tell us that all the time, and reinforcing to our kids that school is a safe place, and it’s a place where you can learn hard things.

Senior Karime Garcia said, “I wish I had this as a kid, it would have given me hope and made me feel good.”

While it may be a high-poverty area, graduates who walked the halls say if they could do it, others can graduate, too.