It takes courage to walk to the beat of your own drum at any point in life, but perhaps particularly so during high school.
Every member of the senior classes at Palo Alto's public and private high schools deserves recognition and celebration for the accomplishments, big and small, that propelled them to graduation.
In seeking to represent the diverse personalities of the class of 2015, the Weekly sought out and found five students from Palo Alto High, Gunn High, Eastside College Preparatory School and Castilleja School who represent courage to choose a different path, both during and after high school, inside and outside of the classroom.
Some of these students were suggested to the Weekly by school administrators, teachers or fellow students for their alternative decisions and achievements; one assumed a visible leadership role in the community this year as Gunn's representative to the Board of Education.
These five students' courage comes in many different forms -- taking a gap year, deciding to defer college to take care of one's mental health, speaking out for one's beliefs and on behalf of others.
Their paths to graduation were all different but share one common thread: a willingness to walk to the beat of their own drum.
Taken together, these students represent a sense of optimism about the future for Palo Alto students and their definitions of success. They show that accomplishment is not necessarily bound to good grades or college admission but to hard work, passion, selflessness and creativity.