When it became painfully apparent that South Pasadena Middle School 8th-graders were going to miss their beloved promotion ceremony and all of its accompanying events, several young people from Lion’s Heart sensed an opportunity to ease a little of the sting.
Though it’s impossible to reconstruct one of the more joyous occasions of adolescence, several 6th-grade girls and freshmen boys spent a recent weekend delivering yard signs to the 8th-graders whose ceremony was the latest in a long line of events that fell prey to the coronavirus.
“Congratulations South Pasadena Middle School Class of 2020,” declare the orange and black signs. “We are so proud of you!”
A typical SPMS promotion weekend includes academic achievement awards, concerts and other programs, but the annual lip-sync battle was also a victim of the pandemic.
The good deed buoyed the spirits of both the recipients and those who pulled off the surprise event.
“I enjoyed putting up the signs for the SPMS 8th-grade graduates,” said Marlowe Arrieta, a 6th-grader and member of Lion’s Heart. “After doing a good deed, I felt great on the inside. I would definitely recommend everyone do something good for their
community. Especially, through these hard times.”
Jason Yipp agreed.
“Congratulations to the 8th-graders,” said the freshman. “I feel bad for you, since your promotion was canceled, but I hope the signs will help recognize your achievements and celebrate your promotion.”
Ian Marciel also got into the spirit of the event.
“During these times, showing support toward the graduating 8th-graders can really help cope with the
situation at hand,” Marciel told The Review. “It’s unfortunate that graduating classes cannot experience a normal graduation with family and friends.”
A national service organization, Lion’s Heart provides volunteer opportunities to students who are in 6th grade through high school and even creates a digital portfolio for each individual member.
Volunteer Miles Decker explained a different aspect of the experience.
“It was interesting to observe how many kids are graduating from the same households,” Decker said.