It's not how Destiny Loney expected to find out she'd earned the honor of being the co-valedictorian of her graduating class.
"It was bitter sweet for sure because I was looking forward to seeing if I did get the honor and very happy and surprised when I did but I was also looking forward to finding out in front of all my friends," said Destiny .
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The Santa Rosa Academy High School Senior isn't the only one missing out on the pomp and circumstance. Her older sister, Donica, is also graduating: summa cum laude from Cal Baptist University. Three years earlier, she graduated from the same high school as her younger sister.
"I got to do the final senior walk and she did not get to do that. I wish she could," said Donica. "I also got the initial excitement of going on stage and getting your diploma. You get to be with your friends in your outfits and you wait with anticipation and she doesn't get to feel that."
For both sisters, the coronavirus crisis cut short this rite of passage. Both were very involved in campus activities: Donica was president of CBU's pre-physician assistants club, and member of the Serve Team. Destiny was varsity cheer captain and class president.
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"I was the one planning all the senior events, senior ditch day, senior sunrise, I actually just sent out an email for dates for those two events saying we had senior walk, senior BBQ all of those things that are so important to seniors," said Destiny.
Despite the challenges, both are grateful for this unexpected time together.
"I think it has made us really reconnect with family and see where our true bonds come from," said Destiny.