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Ready to start out on their own

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By Gabriel Vasquez

Senior Hilltoppers have been busy this week practicing their hat toss.

Two hundred and fifty-three Los Alamos High School students are scheduled to receive their diploma at 9 a.m. Saturday in Griffith Gym, to mark the end of their high school careers.

“The minute I get my diploma my heart will be completely full – I’m going to be jumping up and down,” LAHS senior Craig Girrens said. “It took a little while to sink in, but I’m trying to make the best out of every moment.”

Girrens said that although his family, the local community, and his friends have all supported him the past four years, he is glad to finally leave “the shell of Los Alamos” and venture out on his own.

“They tell you now you’re completely independent, it’s up to you to apply what you’ve learned from your parents and the community that you’ve been raised in,” he said. “You take all that in and you try to make it on your own. I feel pretty prepared going out and I can’t wait.”

Currently, Girrens is spending most of his time with his friends and family, making the most of his time before he departs to Colorado State University to continue his education.

“Every moment with my friends now is very valuable,” he said. “We just want to be there for each other in the end, as everyone starts to grow apart.”

Emily Breiner, LAHS senior, also said she is excited to finally gain “full independence.”

“I’m looking forward to going out on my own, meeting new people and seeing what I can accomplish on my own rather than depending on my parents,” she said.

Although not a Los Alamos native, Breiner said ever since her arrival from Indiana six years ago, she has “loved” attending school in Los Alamos.

“I found a lot of friends in different groups,” she said. “It was very rewarding, and I learned a lot from multiple people.”

Like Girrens, Breiner plans on attending Colorado State University, where she will study pre-law in the honors program. Girrens plans on studying either civil or bio-medical engineering.

Robert Abney, LAHS assistant principal, said Saturday’s graduation is scheduled for an hour-and-a-half, and that there are no major changes from past ceremonies. He plans to keep it “short and sweet,” and encourages parents and family members to attend.

“There is always a little bit of sadness,” Abney said. “Each class brings a different personality to the table – it’s always sad to see the seniors go.”

Senior Appreciation Night, a community-wide celebration designed to deter students from alcohol and drug use, will be held 6 p.m. Saturday at the YMCA and last until 4 a.m. the following day, with several area businesses partipating.

The popular event is in its 24th year.