Some Fresno Unified seniors celebrate college acceptances

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Schools may be closed for the rest of the academic year due to COVID-19, but some Fresno Unified students have recently received exciting news about getting into their dream universities.

It's a milestone worthy of all the celebration.

"I was screaming, I ran through the street. I was so excited. I was like, 'I got into UCLA'," says design science senior Paulina Perez.

Paulina Perez is officially UCLA bound - a UC she once considered her reach school.

The senior at Design Science on the Fresno City College campus may not be able to celebrate in person with friends or know about what's in store for commencement, but Paulina says she knows the future is bright.

"We might be waiting a few months, but at the end of the day, all the work that we've done is going to be appreciated, and we're doing this for ourselves," says Perez.

The Bruin-to-be celebrated by phone with her principal Tressa Overstreet.

"I'm the first in my family to go to college, so I serve them from a place of empathy," says Overstreet.

Overstreet says she admires her students for paving the way to accomplish their goals.

"These kids are really changing their life with education."

She calls it an honor to celebrate her students' achievements, only wishing she could finish out their final year in the classroom.

"When you're an educator, you want your kids to feel safe and you want to give your kids a stable environment where they can thrive."

"We all miss each other I don't think there's one person I talked to that wasn't like I miss school or I miss seeing you guys I miss hanging out," says Chris Juarez, another Design Science senior.

Juarez got into 14 universities, including one of his top choices - Stanford.

He isn't letting the COVID-19 crisis deter him from finishing his senior year off strong - in fact, he prefers online courses, but there is something he's missing.

"I'm not going to get to say goodbye. All of these friends I've been in class with for four years. I've heard their stories because I like to get to know the people I'm seeing all these four years."

District officials say there are also more than a dozen students who have already completed their credits to graduate since school closures.
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