With the girls in white gowns and the boys in blue, 141 students graduated from Dos Palos High School on June 8.
The students accepted their diplomas on Ike Frankian Field in front a portable wall emblazoned with a blue-and-gold Bronco, the school's mascot.
"I'm a Bronco today," said Principal Heather Ruiz, a Dos Palos High graduate. "Someday you'll understand the pride that Broncos feel and continue to feel for the rest of their lives."
Ruiz said the Class of 2012 made her first year as principal special.
Of the graduates, 17 finished with honors. And, 121 scholarships awarded graduates with $111,675.
Brenda Hernandez, the school's California Scholastic Federation president, said she dreamed much of her life of escaping the Central Valley -- she's changed her mind.
"After 13 years of being educated in Dos Palos, my roots have become embedded deep into this community," Hernandez said, and repeated in Spanish.
There was standing-room only on the home team side of the field, as family and friends cheered, blew whistles and sounded air horns between each break in the commencement's speeches.
Salutatorian Rachel Maiorino challenged her peers to not lament their shortcomings, but take advantage of what they have.
"Judging by the overflowing stands, this class has a lot of support in their lives," Maiorino said.
Vanessa Nunez, the valedictorian, said she was confident her classmates would succeed in life.
"I know none of us would settle for anything less," Nunez said.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.