Lowrider community pays tribute to Richmond High Class of 2021

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The lowriders community paid tribute to the Class of 2021 at Richmond High on Friday, May 14, 2021.

By Mike Kinney

After a turbulent year, Richmond High seniors deserve a smooth ride to graduation — or ten.

On Friday, the lowrider community held their Second Annual Richmond High Car Show for Graduating Seniors on the campus at 1250 23rd St.

Local car club members parked 10 classic low-rider vehicles at the high school campus, where high school seniors were scheduled to pick up their graduation caps and gowns.

Hot rods, souped-up trucks and other old-school muscle cars parked in the new quad by the old science building, showing love for the more than 300 graduates.

“We wanted to show them how the community is so proud of their accomplishments this year,” said organizer Gonzalo Rucobo, founder of Bay Area Peace Keeper, a violence prevention organization that works with students at different local school sites. “During these tough times, this graduating class was not able to get or receive a proper celebration they deserve for all of their hard work.”

Richmond High Principal Jose DeLeon expressed gratitude for the show of support.

“This feels so good,” he said. “The history of Richmond High is still alive, many of the people here with their cars today and from the community who are supporting our graduating class of 2021 are themselves Richmond High alumni.”

Vice-Principal John Hilliard added, “What is so beautiful about this is seeing the demonstration of solidarity coming from the community.”

Graduating senior Regina Gutierrez said the display is heartwarming and something she’ll always remember.

“It makes me feel honored, knowing other people are coming here for us even though it has been a very rough year because of the pandemic,” added fellow graduating senior Perla Navarro.

Rosie Martinez brought her baby blue 1983 Chevrolet Cutlass to support the graduating seniors.

“I grew up here and it is very important for these young people to get their education and receive their high school diploma,” Martinez said. “It is important that these young people have worked hard for four years and should be acknowledged by our community.”

The RHS 2021 graduation ceremony will be held outdoors at the Richmond High stadium on Tuesday, June 8.