The Millennium High Class of 2023 looked to the future as they bid friends goodbye during a commencement ceremony Saturday morning on the Tracy Learning Center sports field.

Abby Curran greeted her fellow graduating seniors at the ceremony.

“As I look into this crowd I see 105 bright, esteemed and ambitious teenagers knowing that our future is about to begin. We are the future and have a choice to make it a better place. Making new advancements, curing cancer, serving our country and helping the evolving of our nation,” Curran said. “So many unbelievable things happened in our high school career. We are the generation of the COVID-19 outbreak. What we are now experiencing will go into our children’s textbooks.”

Student speaker Lilliana Zapien congratulated her fellow classmates on reaching their graduation.

“You have all come so far and grown so much,” Zapien said. “You are not the same class that we were a few years ago, we’re not the same people either.”

She thanked her classmates for the memories and friendships she made over the years.

“We get tired of school and the work, but there are memories that we would not have without Millennium. You guys, what can I say? I really do love this school. I love this school and the people here too,” Zapien said. “I surround myself with people I believe are worth my time and I have surrounded myself with each and everyone of you.”

Zapien told her classmates to remember their struggles to see where they were now.

“You are a graduating senior from the high school with the most requirements in our area. It is you who spent the time and took on the challenges thrown at you, and it will be you who becomes the next person to achieve the dreams,” Zapien said.

20 TLC Originals, students who attended the Tracy Learning Center since kindergarten, were given a special gift before graduating together.

Science teacher Michael Copass made one of the staff speeches, telling the graduates it was time for them to venture out from the walls of Millennium.

“Today marks a turning point, a departure from your Millennium nest, a necessary step, a natural progression, all things on the road to adulthood,” Copass said. “As of today, literally today you will be leaving your handcrafted and well curated Tracy based family behind. It can be scary to contemplate but it’s also a pretty exciting moment. It’s time to craft a new family, to build a new nest.”

Vivek Cherian bid his fellow seniors farewell as he looked back at their years together.

“It has been a long four years but through this time we have been able to walk through the hall of Millennium High School which we have been able to call our second home,” Cherian said. “Through these same four years we also faced adversity. We are the last graduating class to have experienced the start of the pandemic in high school. Through thick and thin we made it, and we are here now, grateful to experience a sense of normalcy once again and glad to have been able to live out our high school dreams.”

Tracy Learning Center chief executive officer Carolyn Woods gave the 105 graduating seniors in the Class of 2023 their diplomas.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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