MOHAVE VALLEY – More than half the members of the 2018 graduating class at River Valley High School have formally committed to their future post-secondary plans. Seventy-seven students signed commitment letters Thursday at attend 17 colleges, community colleges and universities, four trade and technical schools, and three branches of the U.S. military.

​More graduating seniors are expected to sign commitment letters in the coming weeks as college acceptance notifications continue to come in.

​A majority of the students will continue their academic or vocational training in Arizona. Nursing, allied health and technology-related fields were at the top. However, one senior, Moses Jheng, received a scholarship to prestigious Vassar College in New York where he plans to major in economics. Jheng was also the top recipient in 2017 in the area’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) business incubator program for students. Another, Evin Celzo, has been accepted into the molecular biology program at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly-Pomona).

​Former River Valley teacher Stephen Beals, now at the school district’s CRUHSD Academy, urged the students to “emulate the right people” as they move forward and use stumbling blocks as learning experiences. “Aiming for the stars and missing is better than aiming for the basement and hitting it,” he said in his keynote presentation.

​Of the 129 graduating seniors this year, more than two thirds participated in at least one athletic program, extracurricular club or career/technical/vocational program. Others were recognized for being in the top ten percent of their class, being accepted into the National Honor Society, having dual enrollment simultaneously at River Valley and Mohave Community College, taking aggressive advanced placement classes, or participating in River Valley’s Renaissance program, which encourages academic excellence, improvement, and citizenship.

​As with last week’s signing ceremony at Mohave High School, River Valley’s was organized by GEAR UP, a federally-funded college-access program established to significantly increase the number of students from low-income communities who graduate from high school prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education, including workforce training. River Valley’s student council also assisted in setting up the ceremony.