On Thursday, May 3, the South Pasadena High School gym echoed of chattering voices, as lunch was being served to the staff, teachers, students, and volunteers of SPHS.
Five bouquets of flowers rested on a table in the front of the room along with three Parent-Teacher-Student Association Honorary Service Awards, and two Certificates of Appreciation which were to be awarded to those who had given an immense amount of service to the students of South Pasadena High School and contributed during the 2017-2018 school year.
Among those who were awarded the Certificate of Appreciation were SPHS students, Nicole Srisutham and Kenny Ryu.
The PTSA Honorary Service Awards honorees were SPHS Librarian, Shelee Wilkerson, SPHS Councilor, Tracy Ishimaru, and PTSA Executive Board Member, Mickee Collins.
Each award and certificate given was equally as emotional as it was deserved. Collins, the last to receive an award that afternoon, described her year of service, while fighting back tears, as “rewarding”. Collins spearheaded the push for fundraising through the Mini Grants Club to help fund Grad Night at the Disney’s California Adventure for the 2018 SPHS Senior class which had not been available to the school for the past 50 years.
Collins explained that there had been much confusion around the topic of Grad Night in the past. “There had been a rumor that we were banned, and we are not banned… the Seniors are going. This is their first year, ever.”
Riley Collins, a SPHS senior and daughter of Mickee Collins, proudly surprised her mother at the award luncheon and explained that her peers are quite excited to be heading to Grad Night after graduation.
“She’s given us this opportunity to go to California Adventure for Grad Night, and I’ve seen all of my friends and peers get really excited about this opportunity, just because everyone did have that idea that we weren’t allowed to go, so it’s now this new shocking thing.”
Collins pushed for donations throughout the South Pasadena community that added up to over $10,000 in funding through the “No Sweat” campaign over nine months, resulting in PTSA donations to several schoolwide projects including the 2018 Senior Class Grad Night at California Adventure Park.