Folsom Seniors Don Caps and Gowns at Their Old Elementary Schools

FOLSOM -- The seniors at Vista del Lago High School don't graduate until next Friday, but Wednesday they put on their caps and gowns a week early and loaded onto buses headed to their old elementary schools.

"It's definitely really exciting," said Jordan Kane, the high school's student body president. "We've all been thinking about this since elementary school."

They call it a "GRADitude Walk." It's a way to inspire Folsom first-graders.

"All of these elementary schoolers, they have this big dream of graduating from high school, graduating from college and seeing all of these older students being able to do that, it really makes an impact in showing that they too can do it eventually," Kane said.

"They're so excited to see big kids kind of walking around, especially when we're all wearing our caps and gowns," said Lauren Roehrs, a Vista del Lago senior. "It's really inspiring I think for them."

But the walk is also a way to thank the teachers that shaped the seniors at an early age.

"And really just showing, 'Hey, this is what you mean to me and this is where I'm going to college,' or 'This is what I have planned in the future,'" Kane said.

Teachers like Melanie Roehrs got emotional seeing their former students walk through the halls of Empire Oaks Elementary to "Pomp and Circumstance."

"I remember them from when they were 5," Roehrs said.

Those 5-year-olds she taught 13 years ago are now adults heading to college.

"You feel like, 'Wow, these kids are going to be our bright next future,'" Roehrs said.

After they visited their elementary schools, the seniors headed to Folsom Middle School in their caps and gowns as well.