Fort Sumner grads focus on community

Courtesy photo The Fort Sumner 2008 senior class will graduate this Friday.

By Keely McDowell: CNJ staff writer

All 13 members of Fort Sumner High School’s graduating class of 2008 participated in community service programs focused on helping the school, the community and the world.

Fort Sumner’s graduation is Friday.

• Cass Dimitroff, valedictorian, on Operation Christmas Child in which the seniors sent Christmas gifts to children in third world countries:

“We filled shoe boxes full of little surprises for kids who are in third-world countries. In some of the countries we sent them to, the things inside the boxes were worth more than a man’s wages for the whole year. It was a way to give what we have to people who don’t have as much. It made me feel accomplished and like I was doing something that was helping out other people.

• Senior Brett Cortese on Angel Tree Gifts in which seniors gave a toy or an article of clothing to children with one or both parents incarcerated:

“They would give us a name and what they wanted and two people would get a gift for each kid. It makes you realize that not everyone has everything.”

• Seniors Jake White and Chase Longo on Above the Influence, a program in which the seniors were a mentors to the seventh- and eighth-grade students.

White: “A lot of them would come to me if they were being pressured with drugs or alcohol. I was there to let them know that I have been there, and it’s not uncommon. My mantra was, ‘teach yourself to say no to the little things, so when it comes to a bigger thing it is easier to say no.’”

Longo: “I tried to set positive examples through athletics, in the hallways, and in the classrooms academically. I had went through problems when I was younger with my parents, with things like that. So, it made it a little bit easier and I understood where some of them were coming from, and it gave myself a better standpoint in setting an example, knowing what could happen.”

Area high school graduations:

Clovis Christian School — 6:30 p.m., school chapel.
Fort Sumner — 7 p.m., school gym.

May 30
Bovina — 7 p.m. (CDT), school auditorium.
Farwell — 8 p.m. (CDT), school auditorium.
Muleshoe — 7 p.m. (CDT), Bailey County Civic Center.