By Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Catholic Charities found a creative way to honor graduating employees who are working on the frontlines of the agency’s pandemic response at local parishes.
“Graduation Week,” May 26-30, was celebrated at Our Lady of Refuge, Most Holy Trinity, St. Martin of Tours, St. John Vianney, St. Lucy, and Santa Teresa – all of which are currently serving as contactless, drive-through distribution sites for free food to any individual or family in need.
With the traditional graduation ceremonies cancelled due to the pandemic, these festive celebrations incorporated social distancing and safety protocols while recognizing these high school and college graduates employed by Catholic Charities. Congratulatory signs and colorful balloons decorated the parish sites. Each graduate received a white “graduate” sash, cupcakes in their school colors, and a certificate of appreciation. Many graduates were thrilled to receive words of congratulations from the food recipients as they loaded grocery boxes into the cars.
Greg Kepferle, Catholic Charities CEO, thanked the graduates for their dedication to both their community and Catholic Charities.
“Graduating in the context of a global pandemic underscores the importance of our education and learning how to think critically and how to apply that thinking to daily challenges,” he said.
“Today, more than ever before, we need cadres of young, bright, thoughtful, and practical visionaries with the persistence and resilience to protect and lift up our communities affected by the pandemic and economic crisis.”
Congratulations to these graduates: Jesus Gomez-Garcia , Joselyn Jaramillo , Cassandra Dias (San Jose State University); Karla Cuevas, Joe Mendoza (Evergreen Valley College); Rebeka Lemus (San Jose City College); Julissa Rios (De Anza College); Jasmin Flores (Foothill College); Valerie Aldaco (Andrew P. Hill High School); and America Soria (Yerba Buena High School).
For more information on the parish food distribution locations, times and days, please visit catholiccharitiesscc.org/covid19-information or call 408-468-0100.