VIKING TWIN GRADUATES

VIKING TWIN GRADUATES — Aaron and Crystal Lopez reminisce about their scholastic adventures together on Saturday afternoon.

MABTON — Twin seniors Crystal and Aaron Lopez have been at one another’s side throughout their academic adventure, making their innate bond into an even tighter connection as they graduated together.

The traditional rite of passage like that of a high school graduation ceremony may have been taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Lopez’s determined resolve to embrace the moment was candidly reflected following the diploma ceremony last Friday evening.

“I am very grateful the school did that for us,” Crystal conveyed. “I was really sad that we didn’t get to finish our school year because I enjoyed going to school and seeing all my friends.” She plans on attending Eastern Washington University and is interested in studying psychology.

Vikings’ Class of 2020 completed their school year odyssey after exiting one by one from vehicles at a designated time and curbside drop-off area while wearing their purple cap and gown highlighted by a gold stole and matching tassel. They walked across a lone and socially distant path to pick up their sanitized diploma during a modified Phase 1 campus program on August 7.

“It made me happy to see my classmates wearing their cap and gown to pick up their diploma. I hadn’t seen them in a while,” Aaron stated. The mechanically inclined and aspiring automotive body technician looks to move to the Tri-Cities and pursue his vocational and career interests.

Both 18-year-olds acknowledged they didn’t truly feel like high school graduates and still had so much to do inside their campus classrooms and on the sports field. Aaron’s memorable moments as a Viking were on the football and track fields of athletic competition.

They mutually voiced the word “regret” when speaking about their high school experience and how quickly it passed by. Crystal wished she would have become more involved with campus activities following her solitary walk to get her diploma

“I’m trying to move on to bigger and better things,” Aaron described while he’s been rebuilding the top end of the motor in his Honda Civic for the past couple of months at home. The car enthusiast confidently said he plans on relocating 30 miles east with his retrofitted car, “Hopefully.”

The two were adamant in not thinking about the vastly different paths they were planning to embark upon, standing close to one another while tears began to roll down Crystal’s cheeks as she described their school bond. “The best part for me was that he was always there by my side during the school year because there were a lot of hard times,” she openly expressed.

Aaron said he’s always kept a watchful and protective eye on his slightly older sister ever since they were in kindergarten.

Crystal and Aaron have leaned on one another over the course of their childhood, from the classroom to whatever the future may hold next for them.

The two have never had to really give their close-knit bond much thought, until now.

Feeling blessed to have been able to receive their ceremonial diplomas, the theme of the lesson learned that hit home for the twins was to take nothing for granted while embracing the trusted moment, together.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email PShelby@SunnysideSun.com

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