By: Stephen Florino
Graduation is the biggest time of year for high school seniors. But it can also be the most dangerous, with some choosing to celebrate with alcohol.
The Friends of Roosevelt Project Grad say they constantly get high turnouts at their alcohol-free post commencement events. And that's a good thing for students, and their parents.
High school graduation is the first step of the rest of your life.
And seniors at Roosevelt are excited to get going.
"Feeling good right now," said Nick Wong. "Graduating. Moving on already."
But before they first day as a graduate, most of them are spending the night at a drug and alcohol free party, known as project grad.
"It's kinda like our first, and last and only class reunion that everybody's gonna be there," said Nick Dang. "It's gonna be the best time of our life."
And hopefully avoid scenes like this deadly crash in May 2006 on Kaukonahua Road in Waialua. Two Waialua High School seniors were killed weeks before their commencement exercises.
This year, almost 80-percent of Roosevelt's class is going to the afterparty.
"The parents are very supportive, the school administration is very supportive," said Leila Tamashiro, co-chair of the 2007 project grad. "We've been lucky in that respects."
In 1990, Roosevelt was the first public school in the state to put on the event. And turnout has always been good. So good, that the Friends of Roosevelt Project Grad started a website last year to constantly recruit volunteers, and update students and parents.
"It's been a very good communication tool for everybody," said Tamashiro.
But the one thing that's not communicated -- the location of the event.
"I know a lot of parents helping, and a lot of my friends parents are helping, so i'm trying to figure it out," said Dang. "But all they tell us is you're gonna have fun, so I believe um."
"Rather than drink, just have a good party with all of our friends and just stay safe," said Wong.