Graduating high school seniors will have plenty to celebrate in the coming months, but some started a little early Tuesday night.
About 160 students, parents and school officials gathered at an awards dinner Tuesday night celebrating the acceptance of seniors from seven area high schools to attend a University of California campus this fall.
Called the UC Admission Celebration, the event was held inside the Golden Valley High School cafeteria in Merced.
All students destined for one of the 10 University of California campuses received an award recognizing their academic accomplishments.
Orquidea Largo, director of the Center for Educational Partnerships in Fresno, termed the dinner a festive occasion. Merced's dinner is one of five planned. The others are scheduled in Fresno, Visalia, Madera and McFarland.
"It was fabulous," Largo said. "Individuals were called up to get a picture with their adviser. It is a huge accomplishment."
Johnny Largo, student affairs officer for the Center for Educational Partnerships, said students from Golden Valley, Merced High, Atwater, Delhi, Le Grand, Livingston and Orestimba high schools, were honored at the dinner.
He said the dinner is the center's way of thanking students, their families and faculty for participating in UC initiatives, including the UC Scholars and talent search programs.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.