By: Javier Gomez, Sophomore
2020 has definitely taken a toll on everyone’s lives. From cancelling schools, to appropriating state lockdowns and self-quarantine, to initiating the race for a vaccine to combat COVID-19, 2020 and the development of the Coronavirus has indefinitely ruined many plans. But in the school spectrum, the most affected would be the graduating Seniors of the Class of 2020. As the sudden news of the COVID-19 spreads, Senior year has been officially cancelled. This is incredibly hard as many seniors have worked with effort for all their twelve years of highschool and deserve a year full of remembrance and joy. Many events such as prom, grad bash, senior brunch, and most IMPORTANTLY, graduation have been permanently cancelled. This is tragic, as graduation is one of the most anticipated events in any student’s highschool career. But with the new technologies that have evolved, many of these events are being held online. Although the empty gap of being filled with friends and family in an auditorium lingers, it is still celebrated whether we are in quarantine or not.
But today is not about the COVID-19 breakout and its effects on the senior year, today is my letter of dedication and celebration to the seniors. Today, I’ve picked and decided to spotlight 2 of my favorite seniors and people that I can call a friend; those two seniors are Giovanna Valentin and Isabel Sewiol. In dedication to these beloved, talented, and beautiful seniors, I asked both of them for a favorite memory of highschool and a picture correlated with it.
Giovanna’s Favorite Memory of High School:
"This is a picture taken on the night of our Senior Homecoming. That night, Marco and I were running for homecoming king and queen. I had never been nominated for something like that, so I was super excited. It was the third homecoming I had attended, and I had the absolute best date in the world! As the friend group started showing up, we all admired and hyped up each other’s look. We looked amazing! We shared laughs at the table and on the dance floor and enjoyed some delicious food. When it was time to announce the court, Marco was crowned king and Dayshawna was crowned queen, and I was so happy. We danced the rest of the night away. The dance was a couple of days before my 18th birthday, so I had told Steve a couple of days prior that my one wish was for them to play my favorite song, 'Dancing Queen,' because it was my last event as a 17 year old. Surely enough, the final song was 'Dancing Queen,' and I cried. It was an amazing night with amazing food, amazing music, and amazing friends. Taking into consideration that I will most likely not have my Senior Prom, there is nothing I would change about that night. These are friends of a lifetime; the most amazing people I’ll ever meet. I love them all and I’m glad we all share that memory." - Giovanna
My Letter to Giovanna
Gio is one of the sweetest, most caring students and people I’ve ever met. I didn’t have much connection to her before this year, as she was a Junior and I was a Freshman. But it was a blessing because the Student Government Association (SGA) led me to meet someone who inspires me to be the best I can be. I’ve never worked with Gio before SGA, and I’m so happy that we did. Her innovative ideas, her charismatic and intelligent self, her hilarious jokes, her honesty, and her joyous persona truly illuminated every single meeting we had. It was such a pleasure working with her and I truly cherish every moment. I learned so much from her and will apply all that knowledge to become a better board member in SGA and a better person in life.
Although I've only known her for a year, it has felt like an eternity. She’s become a great friend and someone that I feel comfortable and happy to see every day. I am so proud of her achievements and her successes all throughout highschool and cannot wait to see what she does in college and in life. Giovanna, I want to say: I am wishing you the best of luck in UF. Remember to always be yourself and don’t let anyone change you for you who you are. Remember to study hard but as well, take deep breaths and relax. You are going to be big someday and I could not be prouder as an iPrep student, as a teammate, and as a friend. Continue to reach for the stars and never give up on your dreams...yes, I know it may sound cheesy lol! Wishing you the best of luck and I’ll make sure to come visit you whenever I get the chance. Go Gators!
Isabel’s Favorite Memory of Highschool
“This picture was from either sophomore or junior year during Spike It Up. Our team, Marco, Lindsey, Gio, Damaris, and I, got together, and we were the blue team (our little tradition since freshman year). I will always remember this dodgeball game that year because during the game, I was the last one standing, and my team depended on me. There was one girl left for me to hit, but the wind and leaves made my contact fall out!! So, I was throwing the ball in all sorts of directions because I was half blind LOL, but I eventually hit the girl on the opposing team, getting a win for my team!” - Isabel
My Letter to Isabel
Isabel, where do I start? Isabel has been one of the most beautiful, friendly, bubbly people I’ve ever met in my whole entire life. I met her last year, my ninth grade year, as I was inducted into the board of SGA. I wasn’t familiar with anyone except a few, but as the year progressed, I got closer to Isabel, and let me say, it was one of the most powerful connections I’ve ever had with someone. It wasn’t until sophomore year that our friendship grew. Working alongside her was amazing, as she is someone so incredibly talented, intelligent, cooperative, and may I say, comedic.
Seeing her face at the meetings, in the hallways, and in the classrooms between periods was always so refreshing. She never failed to make me laugh and to make me happy. She always greeted me with such politeness and friendliness and to say, it always brightens my day like the sun bright beams. I’ve only known her for a year and a half, but I feel that we know each other forever. I feel like I made a beautiful friend, someone that I hold dear to my heart. Absolutely no words can describe how much I admire and respect her. I learned so much from her, more than thoughts and words can express, and I cannot wait to apply that into becoming a better person, a better friend, and a better board member at SGA.
I am so incredibly proud of her and all that she has achieved throughout highschool and her life. I cannot wait to see what she does in college and life so forth. Isabel, I want to say: Remember to never lose sight of who you are, your worth, your passions, and yourself. You are so incredibly special and the world will know that! Remember to study hard, achieve those grades, and to never forget to relax and take deep breaths. Good luck at UF and I will come and visit you whenever I get the chance! You go girl!
I don’t know how to end this letter, but I do know something; I am incredibly proud of these two girls and everything they have done. They have formed iPrep into what it is today, an environment of spirit, commitment, expectations, respect, and love. They, like all the seniors graduating this year, have made iPrep into a beautiful experience not only for themselves but for everyone. Isabel and Giovanna are leaving iPrep forever but they will remain in our hearts and in spirit through the hallways of iPrep. I hope that I can carry on their legacies going forward with my highschool career and make them proud!
No words from all the dictionaries combined in the world can express how much respect, admiration, adoration, and love I have for both these beautiful women; you guys are my number #1 inspiration. I’m going to miss them a lot, as they’ve become great friends of mine and all the students at iPrep. Isabel and Giovanna, you did it!
Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Florida and I cannot wait to see the successes you achieve in your next four years of life. I’m wishing you well and hope your years forth are filled with abundance, prosperity, and happiness. I want you to remember that the iPrep community is fully supporting you in everything that you do! Saying goodbye is hard, but it is bound to happen one day, but the memories and experiences will forever be in our hearts. I love you both very much and I wish I could give you a hug for the last time. But Ms. Rona wants to have other plans, she’s so AGGY.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy your years of college and I promise, I’ll make my best efforts to come visit you guys! (Most likely in January when GatorMUN is held). And before this ends, I do want to remind you both, that even though we might be across the state, I am always one text away if you need to talk to someone about college or other stuff! And I do want to end this letter with a quote from Maya Angelou, “What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.” Continue to make the world a better place and don’t forget to always follow your passions and your dreams! YOU GUYS GOT THIS! WE ARE ROOTING FOR YOU. 💖💖💖
Hello! I’m Javier Gomez and this is little about me. I’m a sophomore in iPreparatory Academy. I’m a huge makeup and music lover. I enjoy napping, writing poetry, and playing the Sims.