Carlsbad Baccalaureate continues to inspire

Steven Hughes, Writer

As the year begins to wind to a close, many seniors prepare for graduation and all that comes with it. Traditionally, there are many events available to graduating seniors to celebrate high school’s end, but there are few that deal with what comes after. The Carlsbad Baccalaureate service focuses on uplifting and inspiring students for life after the graduation walk.

Baccalaureate is a religious function; however, it is not aligned with any specific belief system.

“It is not a worship service, but rather a non-denominational, inclusive program, supported by the school district, where invited speakers share faith-promoting personal experiences and life lessons,” Baccalaureate Planning Committee Chairperson Bonnie Packard said.

The Baccalaureate welcomes people of any and all faiths, its goal being to provide students with religious enthusiasm to carry wherever life takes them after school.

“It’s a really neat program,” senior Tess Roundy said. “It’s inspiring to see so many different people of different beliefs working together for something, especially in the world today, with all sorts of religious problems in the news. Every year, it’s kind of amazing to see the diversity, and makes me feel good about how far we’ve come in terms of accepting or cooperating with people.”

Cooperation is exactly what goes into the Baccalaureate’s planning. The adult committee members are leaders from various religious backgrounds, with help from various volunteer members of the student body.

“We have had some great programs the past three years with impressive and notable speakers that appeal to youth, mostly from our own community, who understand the value of faith in their daily walks of life,” Packard said. “CHS Chamber Singers continue to add the beautiful element of music, and students have had key roles as program MC, student speakers, musical numbers and prelude music, even offering a prayer.”

This year, more inspiring figures are set to speak to students, including Olympic Snowboarding Champion Shannon Dunn-Downing and Youth Pastor Willie Register of North Coast Calvary Church. Along with these, senior class president Anthony DeRose and ASB president Sarah Lang will participate.

Carlsbad Baccalaureate is scheduled to take place on May 31, in the CAC from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.. Any and all members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend.

“Our goal is to create an event that edifies and speaks to the heart, no matter where the student is in his or her spiritual journey,” Packard said. “The hope is that by attending, you will come away with something to ponder and consider about God and your relationship to Him as you prepare to move forward with your futures.”