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WHS holds baccalaureate service

Wasco High School held its baccalaureate on Sunday night. It was a way to celebrate graduation in a religious ceremony to bless the graduates, sharing a message of a higher power and the love of Jesus Christ. The speakers were Nino Vasquez and Hector Bernal from Templo Immanuel, Pastor La Ronna Rhodes from Westside Family Fellowship and Ross Shafer, former longtime Wasco High School counselor.

Miranda Cortez is the student council publicity manager and one of the key organizers. "This is a tradition students and families look forward to every year. I think it's special because it's a way to come together as a community, a good way to kick off graduation week and good way to start senior festivities."

She also hoped to impart wisdom and encouragement to the students who attended.

For Aiden Lithfield, it did just that. "It gives hope to faith-faith for what is coming up next. I also believe it gives hope that God is out there watching out for us."

Aiden said he was grateful for the blessing.

"I am grateful for the blessing that there are people in the community willing to come out here and talk to us about our future and what's coming next."

He said it was motivational to hear the stories that the speakers shared. "I learned of other people's journeys of where they are and how it inspired me to dream big, to remember where I come from and who my creator is."

Speaker Nino Vasquez encouraged the students to persevere. "As you step into adulthood, sometimes things don't go as you plan. But if they remain steadfast in their faith, God will provide what they need to come out ahead."

He said he was eager to participate.

"I was excited. "I don't do a lot of public speaking. But I was honored that I was even thought of to bring a word of encouragement to these young people and I was grateful to be given this opportunity."

Hector Bernal's message, he said, was, "One of looking at Jesus and recognizing that times will be hard at different points in our lives, but the important thing is to follow Jesus. I talked about how the heart is deceitful and how we can't always follow our heart. There will be things that are so difficult; they are more than we can bear, and that is when Jesus shows up." He said the blessing was powerful. "The power comes from giving the next generation that relationship and that ability to call on Christ. If you were to take Christ out of Christianity, you would be left with nothing, so tonight is about giving the next generation the knowledge of Christ."


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