A power outage that affected an estimated 20,000 people in northeast Fresno did not stop the Hoover High School graduation ceremony Wednesday afternoon, it only delayed it by about 40 minutes.
The electrical problem did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 376 graduates or their family and friends who showed up on a 100-degree afternoon.
Among those who had to wait was Noelle Mendoza, the Hoover senior class president.
She teamed up with student body president Rachel Perry, another graduate, for a speech that highlighted the accomplishments of the Class of 2019.
Mendoza, 18, will head to Clovis Community College to study education and eventually become a teacher.
“I love working with the people, like kids,” said Mendoza, the daughter of Connie and Steven Mendoza.
Mendoza, the fourth oldest of five children, will be the first in her family to attend college.
“I want to prove to myself that I can do it,” said Mendoza, who ran unopposed for her student government post. She has a 3.6 GPA.
School board president Claudia Cázares used a quote by the late poet Maya Angelou to inspire the graduates: “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through live with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.”
Cázares told the graduates they are in a position to help heal the divisions that divide the nation and that “impact every part of our life.”
“You are uniquely poised to change the tide of our world,” said Cázares.
Hoover High School
Date: June 5, 2019
Where: Save Mart Center
Latino valedictorians: Randy Daniel Cardona, Miguel Ángel Flores Rosales, Kharma Ti Ting García, Maynor Leonel Quiroa, Alyssa Marie de la Teja, Nelida Dalaya González Montoya, Filiberto González, Yvette Jardón, Mikayla Ann Marie Loera, Adriana Valles Romero, Yosef Martín Villanueva Gaytán
Principal’s words: Rebecca Wheeler: “Every one of you can point out people who made you better than you thought you could me. And you are that person for someone else.”
Student’s words: Harvey Blanco: “Never accept defeat.”