When Angie Bosin found out she was pregnant with her son, she was not sure how she was going to finish high school while also working a full-time job at Chipotle.
On Thursday morning, she posed for a picture with 1-year-old Aiden while holding her diploma from Liberty High School.
"My teachers stuck it out through my entire pregnancy," Bosin said. "I could not have done it without them."
The 49 students who crossed the stage at Hutchins Street Square in baby blue or white robes each faced challenges that could have prevented them from receiving their diplomas. Most of the students went to traditional schools, fell behind and then transferred to Liberty.
When students arrive at Liberty, Principal Tami Somera said many of them feel defeated and have a hard time realizing their "own personal strength."
"Yet they have a desire to be successful, and to find a path that leads to a life they can be proud of. ... Liberty's class of 2012 is not a class of defeated students. They are survivors. They are thrivers. They persevere and overcome," Somera said.
Julia Villanueva sat with flowers in the audience, cheering on her daughter, Alexis Villanueva, as she opened the ceremony with the Spanish welcome.
Alexis Villanueva had fallen behind on credits, and was not sure if she was going to graduate. Now, she plans to enroll at Cosumnes River College to major in sonogram technology.
"I'm really happy she made it," her mother said. "They did a lot to help her and encourage her to keep going when she was not sure if she was going to make it."
During the ceremony, Julian Castellano received a $53,028 scholarship for college from the U.S. Army. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Rolle and Staff Sgt. Amit Singh presented him the check.
Castellano enrolled as a combat engineer and said he will ship out on Oct. 29. He plans to go to school to become a nurse.
"I'm excited to be done with school and to graduate because I can get life finally started," Castellano said.
While strumming his guitar, Trever Woods sang "Keep Your Head Up," a recent Top 40 single.
"The glow that the sun gives/Right around sunset/Helps me realize/This is just a journey/Drop your worries/You are gonna turn out fine," Woods sang.
Student speaker Stevi Cicero said that when she entered Liberty, she did not take school seriously.
"Graduating is more than 12 years of school," Cicero said. "It's the sum total of 12 years of experience that shape who we are, and making it to graduation is an accomplishment that reminds us we can do anything, even if we get off to a rocky start."
In his blue robe outside of Hutchins Street Square, Alejandro Covarrubias smiled with his family. He plans to head to Delta College. He is not yet sure what he will major in, but he enjoyed U.S. History and Economics classes.
"Liberty was my last hope. My teachers pushed me and showed me that giving up wasn't an option," he said.