Every senior in high school should have access to professional senior portraits. Senior year is a significant milestone, and senior pictures commemorate and honor this incredible achievement. For students, parents, and families, it is a memorable occasion. I recognize that senior portraits are out of reach for some, especially in light of the pandemic's impact. It saddens my heart to see seniors, students who wish to have their photographs taken, go without this opportunity. This is why I've decided to start a scholarship program for senior portraits.
The purpose of this initiative is to provide 25 scholarships to the graduating class of Palmdale High School (PHS) so that students can apply for and get complimentary Senior Portraits from William Edwards Photography, the school's official photography agency. PHS teachers and staff will have the opportunity to nominate students for this scholarship. Our goal is that by 2024, we are serving our entire Antelope Valley High Schools.
Scholarship recipients will be chosen by a committee of Palmdale High School Alumni alongside Raymiro D. Gomez-Galiano. The scholarship awards will be managed by a committee of not less than (3) three or not more than (9) nine persons. The committee will not reveal any of the information submitted in the application unless specified by the student during the application process.
My name is Raymiro Gomez-Galiano and I moved to Palmdale, CA just two weeks before my freshman year of high school started. It was a new environment, in which I felt scared and alone. I remember eating my lunch every day for about a week behind the “dark halls” next to the student store. I recall going to the counselor's office a few days after hoping to see if I could join the Palmdale Health Careers Academy, something I had just learned about. I remember being told that I needed to have submitted an application during the summer, however, at that very moment, Mr. Tim Klein walked in. He did not hesitate and simply told the counselor to enroll me in his class. Not a day goes by where I don’t reflect on this memory. He was the first person to take a chance on me without even knowing my name. Unfortunately, he is not here with us today but his legacy will always remain. I learned and grew within this program, met so many wonderful individuals, and for that, I am forever grateful. I joined the Falcon Corps, the school's marching band, a week later, and progressed through the ranks of leadership throughout my high school career, eventually becoming the band's Drum Major as a sophomore. Mr. Joseph Pincetich, my band director, showed me what it takes to be a leader, and I would not be where I am now without his mentorship and continuous support.
Through this experience, I ventured into more leadership roles and got involved with more extracurricular activities. During my junior year of high school, I was introduced to the challenges and rigors of the English Language and Composition. Quickly, my English class expanded my perception of social conflicts and aided in the development of my voice in my community. I applied myself to the idea that nothing is impossible and that a seed must be planted in order for a flower to blossom.
As my senior year approached, I began to prepare myself for the college application season but was faced with many challenges. I recall staying up late preparing for my SATs and felt uneasy each time I took them because my score kept dropping, from 1050 to 980 to 920 on my final try. During this time, my family faced financial hardships, in which we (my sister and I) were unable to afford our senior portraits and be included in our yearbook senior year. I felt heartbroken not because I could not afford my senior portraits but because there were others in similar shoes. High school was a significant milestone in my life and senior portraits commemorate and honor this incredible achievement. For students, parents, and families, it is a memorable occasion. Unfortunately, my family and I were unable to experience what others had.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began, my senior year came to an end. I took this as an opportunity to grow and give back. I now attend the University of Southern California (USC) where I will receive my bachelor’s degree in Non-Governmental Organizations and Social Change, in addition to my master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship by 2024. I am the founder and Chief Executive Officer of a nationally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation called NewColorsProject. Today, it is my honor to officially announce the Raymiro D. Gomez-Galiano Senior Portrait Scholarship presented by the NewColorsProject 501(c)3. The Senior Portrait Scholarship will be awarded to 25 Palmdale High School graduating seniors at three distinct levels, with a collective value of $10,000. By 2024, we will expand these awards and create others for the entire Antelope Valley and beyond. Together.
Provides a graduating high school senior with a free ultimate session and a 2 Pose Collection.
Valued at $600
Provides a graduating high school senior with a free ultimate session and a 4 Pose Collection.
Valued at $900
We are honored to award the Raymiro D. Gomez-Galiano Senior Portrait Scholarships to 20 incredible and inspiring students in the 2023 Graduating Class of Palmdale High School! Thank you Trio Coffee House for allowing us to use your space as our Scholarship Committee read applications and intentionally chose our recipients.
We are honored to have had Michael McIntosh, Trio Coffee House Chief Executive Officer & Co-Owner and Palmdale High School Alumni, be present as an advisor and mentor.
Thank you William Edwards Photography for the support and community dedication you all have in Antelope Valley! We look forward to growing and continuing our partnership for many years to come. Thank you Palmdale High School for the support in outreach efforts to get our scholarship opportunity available to students!