Committing To Their Futures

Lost River Seniors Celebrate Signing To Colleges, Military

One student plans to return to her hometown and teach kindergarten. Another wants to be an orthopedic surgeon.

Others plan careers as wildland firefighters, Air Force, and commercial pilots, business leaders and high school teachers.

The 38 members of the Lost River Junior-Senior High School class of 2019 on Thursday celebrated their futures with the school’s third annual Signing Day, 37 pledged to 12 different colleges, and one plans to join the Coast Guard this fall.

As family members and fellow classmates watched, the students were called up one by one to receive accolades, gifts and a signing certificate from college representatives. All put pens to paper during a ceremonial signing at the end of the event.

Ximena Lemus, who will attend University of Oregon, poses with classmate Luz Hernandez, who will attend Oregon State University.

Lost River’s seniors joined seniors from 2,500 high schools across the country this week for national signing day, said Jennifer Johnson, Lost River’s ASPIRE coordinator, librarian, and leader behind the Signing Day event.

“Through a lot of really hard work, our seniors have been accepted to over 30 and will sign to 12 different colleges, universities and one branch of the military,” she told the assembled crowd. “Seniors, your families, and your community are very proud of you, and your hard work, and your commitment to your futures.”

A senior takes a selfie with fellow signees.

Barbara Neal, Oregon Tech’s director special projects and grants, was a keynote speaker. Representatives from
several colleges were on hand to congratulate the students. Students signed to Corban University, Klamath
Community College, Lane, Evergreen and Linn Benton community colleges, Oregon State University, Embry
Riddle Aeronautical University, Oregon Tech, University of Oregon, the U.S. Coast Guard, Lewis, and Clark
College, Penn Foster University and the College of Cosmetology.

Growing up in a supportive small town, many of the students admit they’re a little nervous about attending college in larger cities. But mostly, they’re ready to make the leap.

“I’m more excited than nervous,” said Nolan Britton, who will attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in
Prescott, Ariz. “I’m excited to be studying about what I want to do.”

Oregon Tech signees Irene Aguirre, Casey Bennett, Zach Buller, Rianna Forrester and Tylee Johnson stand up to be recognized.

He plans to major in aeronautics and join the school’s flight training program. His end goal: An Air Force pilot.
Myles Moore, one of 16 students who plan to attend Klamath Community College this fall, plans to enter the
wildland firefighting program. Suzy Cobian will attend Lane Community College near Eugene and study education. She plans to eventually transfer to the University of Oregon and earn a degree in elementary education.

Ximena Lemus-Hernandez, one of two seniors planning to attend the University of Oregon, wants to teach high school business and career technical education classes. Her dream job: State advisor for FBLA.

Makenzie Girtman is going to Corban University in Salem. In addition to studying medicine – she wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, she will play basketball for the college.

Senior Yajaira Cobian unveils – with the help of Lost River alum Ivan Ayala – where she plans to attend college next fall. Ayala is currently a student at Lewis and Clark College.

Lost River’s seventh- through 11-graders watched as the seniors publicly announced their next steps, which helps them think about their futures, Johnson said.

“Today, every class from 2019 to 2024 has an opportunity to see where triumph and perseverance can lead you,” Johnson told the crowd. “And before you know it, every one of you will have the chance to be sitting up here like the seniors are today.”

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