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JFK seniors happy to receive diplomas at home

by Michele Catahay

Guam - JFK seniors are preparing for their graduation. While some have said it was impossible to hold commencement ceremonies at Upper Tumon, it's apparent that the seniors are getting what they've wanted - to graduate at Ramsey Field.   JFK senior Min Kim says it's hard to believe that he's finally graduating at the Islanders' home turf.

The seniors have been pushing to hold their graduation ceremony there, but have been set back due to a number of things, from the fate of the new campus, several appeals filed at the Office of Public Accountability and in court, and the issue of funding to spruce up the field, which hasn't been used for months. And finally, Kim says, he's elated with the community's support to help have their wish come true.

"It's really indescribable," he said.  "It's an indescribable feeling to be back at our home. We've been away from it for two years and it feels really good to be graduating in our home soil."

Kim and his classmates have been without a permanent campus for two years now. He says while most people have said it wasn't going to happen, he's elated that everything is coming to fruition.  "We've been fighting for the past two years to get our campus back. It's very unfortunate that we haven't been able to get it back," he said.  "We'll still be fighting. As an alumni, like every other alumni that supported us, we'll continue to support the rebuild of JFK."

Senior Travis Mesa says he will always be an islander at heart, but graduating on their old stomping grounds means the world to him.  "It's very different from the rest of the school because it's much bigger and you can do whatever you want (good influence, not bad influence). We can make banners. It's not like UOG, where they would be some rules. This one is going to be nice and very big and that's the reason why it's much different from all the other high schools."

Mesa says he hopes for the best for the underclassmen and will continue to fight for them to have a new campus built for everyone. In the meantime, Kim says he's thankful for the help of senators Eddie Calvo and Ray Tenorio who have been pushing for this to happen.

"People are saying it's like a whole political affiliation but honestly, their the ones who really stood up to help us and we're just accepting their help and I'm glad that they came and stepped up, giving us support in giving what we need. I'm really thankful for that," he noted.

The Islanders will graduate on June 5.

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