Being a part of the first ever graduating class at Riverdale Ridge High School has been nothing but an honor and a privilege. When I reflect on my last three years of high school at Riverdale Ridge High School, feelings of pride and gratitude overwhelm me.
When I moved schools my freshman year, it wasn’t an easy task. It was hard leaving all of the relationships and traditions I was getting used to at my old school. It was a bit scary not knowing anything about a brand new school that I was going to be a part of. I was scared to not fit in or to not make any friends, but Riverdale Ridge received me with welcoming arms since the very first day.
There was a large amount of diversity at the school that made me feel like I was not alone. We as students felt that our teachers truly cared about us and our success, which was something a lot of us had never experienced before and it felt great to be supported in this way. It really felt like the staff were there for us and that they were as excited as we were to start these new traditions and school culture.
Through this shared excitement, I was able to build relationships with teachers, staff, my peers, and coaches. All of us had hopes and dreams of what Riverdale Ridge could become. Slowly but surely we were able to make Riverdale what we wanted it to be.
Through team building activities and amplifying student voices, we were able to start traditions that embodied our school culture. This school culture is built upon four values; Integrity, Responsibility, Empathy, and Purpose. It is who we are or as we like to call it, “The way of the raven."
We wanted to build a unique culture that embodied love and unity. We believe that in order to have a safe, inclusive, and productive environment we need to lead with love. Doing so creates a space where everyone is accepted and received with open and loving arms, just as I was on my first day at Riverdale Ridge.
I feel pride and gratitude to have been a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity. I am overjoyed and nostalgic to be graduating from a place that opened its loving arms to me and never let go.