‘Peace and Love’ defines the Class of 2023 Senior Sunrise

The 60s-70s themed event kicks off senior year in full for Colton’s graduating class of 2023


J. Dollins

These friends (from left: Sherlyn Lara, Vivian Guevara, Benjamin Velarde, Noah Limon, Matthew Cortes, and Luis Garay) wrapped their arms around each and celebrated the sunrise by skipping around the football field.

Colton, CA—”It’s the rise of a new year.”

At 5:30 in the morning, before the sunrise, Colton’s seniors trudged onto the field at Memorial Stadium, tired and groggy from a shortened night’s sleep. By the time the sun peeked over the San Bernardino mountains and shined its spotlight on them, everyone was awake, talking, goofing around, knocking volleyballs around, and celebrating the year to come.

This year’s Sunrise event, organized by the Senior Class, welcomed students with a 60s-70s theme. A giant balloon peace sign served as the centerpiece on the football field, setting the tone for the class of 2023.

“We really stuck to a theme, which is like the 60s-70s retro vibe, so everything really has an attention to detail,” said senior class president Denise Diaz.

ASB students arrived before 5:00 a.m. to start set up, which included a number of photo set-ups and a food table, where they served donuts and drinks.

“All of our hard work so far so early in the year is being put to use, and it’s great compared to last year,” shared Duke Medina, ASB president.

That hard work paid off. Seniors set-up blankets on the football field, ate breakfast, and enjoyed the moment. “Last year,” Alex Menchaca said. “Make it count.”

After breakfast, Diaz, Leiloni Zesati, and Colton Suchil led the seniors in a class chant. Then ASB handed out paper, pencils, and envelopes to all the seniors for each to write a letter to their future selves. These personal letters will be returned at this year’s Senior Sunset in May.

Raul Alvarado had a clear message for himself. “Better be walking, fat ass. What are you doing? Slacking off?”

Leslie Yanez and was lot kinder to herself. “I just want to make sure I enjoy every moment: Senior Sunrise, Senior Sunset, Prom, Homecoming. That’s the goal.”

For Ruby Alvarez, the goal is to track her personal growth. “I came in being nervous about the transition from middle school to high school, but now, seeing myself as a senior, I have definitely grown, and hope to continue growing.”

Regardless of the intent, seniors packed messages sincere, silly, and somewhere in between into those envelopes and handed them over as they left the stadium to start the school day and finish out their first full week of the school year.

Angel Losoya summed the experience up perfectly: “These are great memories. I’m with all of my friends. It’s a good time. I’ll remember this for a while.”