Program at Penticton Secondary School aims to make sure every kid can afford graduation season

Grad fees hard for some kids

Want to give a graduating student this year a helping HUGG this year?

Here U Go Grad (HUGG) is a fundraising program at Penticton Secondary School that provides money to students who may not be able to afford the costs associated with graduation season.

It is being organized by Pen High employee Robin Richter, a counsellor at the school. At a recent Dry Grad organizational meeting, Richter explained the program to the parents, and Kelly Alva, whose daughter is in Grade 12, knew she wanted to help.

"So what I've been trying to get for her right now is their grad fees. It's their ceremony fees, as well as the grad hoodie and their yearbook, because you know everyone wants that stuff," Alva said.

It costs about $200 per student for all of that, and Alva said so far there are nine students hoping to access the program, possibly more.

"I just put it out there to some of my friends on my personal Facebook page and it went out from there, more people were interested, and people were donating money as their Christmas gift that their work group was doing, and some were doing it just from their family," Alva said, explaining others have stepped forward to donate old grad dresses and suits as well.

Alva has volunteered as a conduit to collect the donations, to be turned over to Richter at the school.

"If there's any extra donations that come in, they'd go towards dinner dance fees, and any more would stay in the pool for the next year for kids that need it."

If you or your company wants to sponsor a graduating kid in the class of 2022, reach out to Alva at [email protected] or at 250-809-5025 for more information on how you can help.

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