Graduation: Shining stars – our list of outstanding graduating seniors


Each year, we profile a group of outstanding high school seniors, culled from the many nominations sent in by you, our readers. And each year, we find it almost impossible to choose among the many extraordinary leaders, givers and enormously talented graduating teens.

But, choose we did. And, once again, the members of this year’s group know no limits in their quests for excellence and impact. They have given tirelessly of their time as mentors, tutors and sports coaches; helped families transition out of homelessness and poverty; participated in building a school in Sierra Leone; worked to prevent genocide; organized interfaith picnics; and founded an advocacy project to prevent drunken driving. They found their passions — drama, music, writing, languages, politics, business — and harnessed them to inspire others.

Just imagine what they’ll do as adults.

Sheridan Pierce
Taking her role(s) seriously


Quinn Lohmann
A song in his soul


Jason Aftalion
It’s all about the kids


Katherine Bernstein
Sometimes, less is more


Corinne Kentor
A real page-turner


David Shalom
Building a diplomatic resume at home, abroad

Marissa Meyer
Healing others, and herself


Leah Gluck
Working toward ‘never again’


Brian Hertz
Turning tragedy into prevention


Leila Miller
Finding common ground


Jacob Cohen
Giving himself a sporting chance


Eeman Khorramian
Dual identity yields an international outlook

Working toward ‘never again’


Milken Community High School senior Leah Gluck is dedicated to raising awareness about genocide, even though it seems so distant and unsolvable.

“I think it’s an issue that really is very far away for a lot of people at my school … and I think that it’s important,” Gluck said.

Since her freshman year, the 18-year-old has worked with Jewish World Watch (JWW), a nonprofit that focuses on preventing genocide and mass atrocities across the globe as well as engaging individuals and communities to take action locally.

Gluck recently co-created an exhibition, “From Darkness to Light,” set in Milken’s beit midrash, spotlighting the genocide in Darfur and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Gluck planned the exhibition over the course of nearly five months and built the displays during a 15-hour marathon. Student docents led their peers through “From Darkness to Light,” which featured video interviews with victims, photographs of refugee camps, drawings made by children living in camps, and an “action center” where students pledged to become involved with JWW.

For the exhibition’s culmination, Gluck led an effort that consisted of Milken’s entire student body calling the White House at once to discuss Sudan. “That was super cool,” she said.

Gluck has put her design skills to use as head editor of Milken’s yearbook, serving as the point person for section editors and student staff members.

She also spends considerable time in the water, as a member of Milken’s water polo and swim teams. This summer, she plans to work as a lifeguard at Camp Ramah.

Outside of her JWW advocacy, Gluck gets her tikkun olam fix volunteering with KOREH L.A., an organization that helps young students develop their reading abilities, and she spends every Shabbat supervising young children of adult congregants at B’nai David-Judea, leading them in davening, play time and various activities.

This fall, Gluck will attend Washington University in St. Louis, where she might pursue her interest in psychology.

For now, she has enough on her plate to keep her busy.

“I’m just used to not getting home until 7,” she said.

A real page-turner


Corinne Kentor may be coming of age in the iPad and Kindle era, but she feels most at home surrounded by books. The more classic the volumes, the better. It’s “Candide” and “Don Quixote” that thrill this New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) senior, who lights up when she discusses the works of Shakespeare or the Brontë sisters.

“I wrote my college essay on why our house is like a library,” said Kentor, 17, who will leave her Bell Canyon abode this fall to study English literature at Yale University. “There’s a stocked section for each kind of literature.”

Kentor also traced her literary passion to influential teachers in San Fernando Valley public schools, including Round Meadow Elementary School librarian Carole Farhit. “She was this tiny woman, but with a deep, raspy English-accented voice—it was perfect for storytelling. I used to have lunch with her in the library.”

In her years at NCJHS, Kentor immersed herself in languages, achieving fluency in Spanish and studying Hebrew. At Yale, she said, she plans to continue her Hebrew studies and explore Arabic. She’s dabbled in English poetry and even attempted a novel as part of a “NaNo-WriMo” project—for National Novel Writing Month, in November. Spanish teacher Raquel Safdie and AP English teacher Michelle Lindner have called Kentor’s writing university-level work.

“I want to be an English professor someday,” Kentor said. “I also really want to be an author—I feel most at home in prose.” The senior honed her editing and coaching skills this school year by shepherding the young school’s first newspaper, The Prowler. She and her co-editor, Jason Tinero, helped boost the paper’s staff to 17 students and published five issues—all on extracurricular time.

“I’m really, really proud,” Kentor said. “The quality of the writing has changed and developed so much. I feel proud every time I get to hand out the paper—it reflects the spirit of the school.”

Kentor, who chose between Stanford University and Yale, credits her stellar grades to a deep love of school, “which I know is not that normal.” Never a procrastinator, she learned time management in elementary school when she balanced long practice hours for rhythmic gymnastics with homework.

An injury in eighth grade ended her gymnastics career but led Kentor to another graceful passion: yoga. “It gave me the physical stimulation without the competitiveness, which I hate.” She recently earned her teaching certification and started leading Hatha/Vinyasa flow groups at InnerPower Yoga in Woodland Hills. Kentor said she’s eager to join the “Yogis at Yale” group and continue teaching. “Yoga gives me a community wherever I go.”

And what’s a bookworm to do with her last West Coast summer? Her very creative family, including mom Adrienne, dad Eric and older sister Nikki—an intern with local circus troupe Dream World Cirque—are planning a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. To family and friends, Kentor may then quote the Bard: “Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

Sometimes, less is more


In her junior year, Oakwood senior Katherine Bernstein spent two weeks in Sierra Leone with the North Hollywood school’s immersion program. Amid carrying buckets of cement for a new school and helping to paint a map of the world in its library, she was struck by a major difference between life in Southern California and the West African nation.

“I was expecting to go there and have some depressing, transformative experience. Like, one that makes you appreciate what you have. And it was transformative, but not in that way,” the 17-year-old said.

She was surprised to find that people seemed happier there than they are here, despite the lack of electricity and indoor plumbing.

The people she worked with in Sierra Leone focused on people rather than things, Bernstein said, and she was taken aback by how much attention the people she visited with in Sierra Leone gave to her when she spoke, making her realize how distracted people often are in the United States.

Children followed Bernstein’s classmates wherever they went and got excited when the American students learned to count to 10 in their language, Mende. The children also made toys out of water bottles or whatever else they could find, Bernstein said.

“I think people here have an expectation of having things. I remember in middle school, people used to break their phones to get news ones. It’s never enough,” she said.

Bernstein graduates from Oakwood with a 4.42 grade-point average, having taken four AP classes in the past year: human geography, physics C, English and Spanish. She refers to her number theory and cryptology classes as “really cool.”

Judaism’s emphasis on education has had a large impact on her. “There’s an attitude in my family about education—that it’s very important to know about the world,” she said.

Bernstein will attend Stanford University in the fall, and she is considering studying medicine.

Outside of school, Bernstein has volunteered with L.A. Family Housing for several hours every week since middle school. This organization aids families in transitioning out of homelessness and severe poverty. As a volunteer, Bernstein helps the children in the program with art projects and homework.

A piano player for most of her life, she taught one boy piano through the program and is now trying to collect musical instruments and compile a music library for the center.

“I love working with kids,” Bernstein said. “I probably want to do something with kids in the future. I really like spending my time that way. I feel like I’ve developed over the years as a teacher.”

It’s all about the kids


When his late grandmother was first diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago, Jason Aftalion was moved by the volunteers who visited her at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “I was so touched by how they talked to her and spent time with her, so she wouldn’t be lonely,” said Aftalion, a Persian-American senior at Milken Community High School.

Aftalion was inspired to sign up as a volunteer, drawing on “the Jewish values of tikkun olam, or repairing the world,” he said. After a six-month application process, the then-15-year-old was assigned to work at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. He still spends four hours visiting patients each Saturday.

Aftalion, 18, still remembers a young heart patient named Michael who loved pirates. He delivered a toy pirate ship to the boy and spent an hour and a half playing with the delighted child. “He was going through more than I’ve ever been through in my entire life, and he could still have fun,” Aftalion said, marveling at the boy. “It meant so much for me to see how excited he was.”

For his summer-school project at USC’s business school, Aftalion co-founded a nonprofit organization, curechildren.org, which aims to buy a breathing machine for a children’s hospital, among other goals. He kick-started the fundraising by working as a private children’s sports coach, drawing on expertise gleaned as a captain and “most valuable player” on Milken’s basketball and track and field teams.

Back at school, he helped rekindle Milken’s waning Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, quadrupling student volunteers. As a mentor himself, he said, he’d “try to give advice and moral perspective. It was amazing when kids really opened up and talked about their lives.”

For all of his activism, Aftalion has been honored on a “Cool Kids” segment on KABC and on “The Young Icons” program on KTLA; he’s also received a $1,000 scholarship and a citation from the Los Angeles mayor’s office. This fall he’ll attend USC and hopes eventually to combine his passion for kids and business by serving as the president of a children’s hospital. “My Jewish values will help me to become the person I want to be,” he said.

A song in his soul


Quinn Lohmann closes his eyes and tilts his head slightly. His fingers find their place between the frets of his guitar, and his voice rings out, soft and crystal clear.

“We all got a life to live. We all got a gift to give. …”

Lohmann stops mid-strum. “I need to tune,” he says, as he twists the keys on the head of his guitar.

Lohmann, who has autism, also has perfect pitch, and he knows when the sound is just right.

“Open up your heart and let it out,” he continues.

Lohmann’s mother, Kathy Finn, said he started playing tunes on the piano by ear when he was 3, so she started him on music therapy, and he quickly excelled at piano and, later, guitar. Finn decided to have Lohmann, who had some severe behavioral issues, study for a bar mitzvah, and with the help of Cantor Steven Puzarne, founder of Vision of Wholeness, Lohmann led the entire service and chanted the whole portion at his bar mitzvah at Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades.

In fact, Lohmann continues to chant Torah at Temple Akiba in Culver City, as well as at other congregations, and at Nes Gadol, the Jewish studies program at Vista Del Mar that he has been a part of for many years.

He’s also a song leader at Nes Gadol, and fills that role at Camp Ramah in the summers, as well.

For many summers Lohmann attended Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Camp Hess Kramer, where he thrilled in enjoying a typical summer with typical kids. He loves to play baseball, basketball—and at a lanky 6-foot-2, he’s pretty good on the court—ride his bike and swim. He went on a NFTY Reform youth group Israel trip without additional support.

Lohmann, who is 19, graduated Village Glen School last year, but stayed on for a yearlong transition program where he worked at the school cafe, and learned job and life skills.

Next year, he’ll be attending Pathway, a program at UCLA Extension where adults with special needs take classes at the university and learn to live independently.

Lohmann would like to continue with his music, perhaps studying to be a cantor or a song leader in a synagogue.

While Lohmann’s conversation and social skills are somewhat stilted—he mostly responds to questions with short answers—the song he chooses to sing tells the story for him.

It is “B’tzelem Elohim,” “In God’s Image,” by Dan Nichols, and Lohmann learned it at camp.

“We all got a peace to bring. We all got a song to sing.

Just open your heart and let it out. …

We all got a mountain to climb. We all got a truth to find.

Just open your heart and let it out. …”

Taking her role(s) seriously


Disguised as an elderly woman in czarist Russia, Sheridan Pierce took the stage at Brentwood School. As the bright lights touched her face and the character took over her body, Pierce poured her heart into her role, and she realized that she was meant to act. 

The play was “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Pierce, a ninth-grader at the time, was playing Yente the matchmaker. The significance of the role, she said, was her connection with the character on a more personal level. “Deep in my soul, I’m already a little old Jewish lady,” she joked.

With leading roles in 12 of her 15 school plays, a role in a film directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) and performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and most recently at Lincoln Center with Brentwood’s Concert Singers, Pierce is certainly an accomplished performer. “I really like to become a character,” she explained.

Pierce also fosters a passion for improvisation and stand-up, participating in The Second City Teen Troupe and The Groundlings. Focused on her desire to make people laugh, Pierce has set her eyes on her ultimate goal: to someday be on “Saturday Night Live.”

Pierce also contributes comedic essays to one of the three Brentwood publications she writes for, and writes Spanish poetry for a foreign-language publication.

Pierce combines her acting and writing career with a commitment to community service. Working tirelessly with organizations such as the Special Olympics, SOVA, Operation Gratitude, TreePeople and the Los Angeles Public Library Teen Council, Pierce has received numerous awards for her service. Pierce’s interest in bettering the community, she said, is motivated by her love of “working together with a lot of people for one goal.”

Despite the additional challenge of a strenuous course load, Pierce managed to find time in each of the last four years to hold positions in student government. “I just wanted to make a difference in my school, and I knew that was the best way to do it,” she said.

She has continued to strive for more responsibility, ultimately landing the highest elected position at her school, that of prefect, during her senior year. She has also earned the positions of arts chair, homecoming/assembly chair, technology liaison and charity coffeehouse chair/host, as well as a seat on the Honor Board.

Talking to Pierce is like watching a Ron Popeil infomercial—at the end of every sentence you find yourself thinking, “But wait, there’s more!” And after a conversation with Pierce, one thing becomes clear: She is always driven to act. Whether on stage as a character or within her community as a leader, Pierce pours her heart into every role she takes on.

“I’m definitely not a lazy person,” she joked. “I like to set a lot of goals for myself, and there is so much I want to do in my life. I just really get inspired to do the most that I can at an early age.”

Shoah survivors ‘graduate’ from New Jew


At first glance, the idea seemed sort of maudlin.

New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) awarded eight Holocaust survivors honorary high school diplomas last Wednesday night, symbolically handing them back a part of their adolescence that had been stolen by the war.

The emotions seemed almost too easy to elicit, the standing ovation the elderly graduates received too disturbingly predictable.

But between the bubbling emotion of the graduating seniors, and the pride of the survivors, there emerged a sense that the bond between them that was not only intimate, but unexpectedly substantive.

The students met these survivors on March of the Living, a pilgrimage to concentration camps in Poland and then to Israel. They got to know the survivors, and heard their stories of lost youth. It hit the 17- and 18-year-olds — these grandparent figures were the same age and younger when their worlds caved in. They lost families, they lost their homes and their bearings; they never had a chance to do something as simple as take algebra and literature and biology.

And the idea of loss wasn’t as foreign as one would assume for these kids — who have attended a private school in West Hills with all the comforts of a Jewish upper-middle-class life. One after another, though, the four students selected to speak at graduation to represent the class — the third graduating class of this young school — talked about challenges that had punctured the air of invulnerability to which teens might seem entitled. In their four years, three of 88 students in the class lost their fathers. One classmate battled cancer. Just last month, the NCJHS community was shattered by the death of an alumnus from its previous graduating class.

More than many teens, these kids have a sense of what it means to have your foundations shaken. And they know how to give support and comfort to those around them who are grieving.

So it makes sense that after 35 NCJHS seniors returned from March of the Living three weeks ago, their instincts told them to embrace these Shoah survivors — officially, institutionally.

On Wednesday, May 28, Dorothy Greenstein, Jean Greenstein (not related), Sigi Hart, Emil and Erika Jacoby, Sidonia Lax and Paula Lebovics joined the 88 graduates (survivor Halina Wachtel couldn’t be there) at NCJHS’s graduation. As the high school seniors and the senior citizens together marched in the processional to Israeli and American pop songs wearing billowing crimson gowns and tassled caps, they received their diplomas, they turned their tassels and got flowers and hugs from friends and family.

Emil Jacoby, who for many years headed the Bureau of Jewish Education of Los Angeles (BJE), counted this as his sixth diploma. Hart said it was his first.

“The only place I ever graduated was Auschwitz,” Hart said. “I never thought at 83 I would have a graduation!”

The day was especially meaningful for Hart, who graduated alongside his granddaughter, Nicole Birnebaum.

Hart was a boy when the Nazis took over his native Berlin — his bar mitzvah was supposed to have been a few days after Kristallnacht, in November 1938. He survived Auschwitz, and after liberation he went to Israel, where he fought in the War of Independence and later in the 1956 Sinai campaign. By the time he got to Los Angeles in 1957 with his wife and two children, schooling was out of the question. He went straight into the schmatte business, manufacturing shirts for men and boys.

Last month’s trip was Hart’s fourth on March of the Living, where 10,000 people from around the world march on the railroad tracks that carried prisoners from Auschwitz to the Birkenau crematoria.

Paula Lebovics counts as adopted children the 130 kids who comprised the Los Angeles delegation, sponsored by the BJE.

In her purse, Lebovics carries a folded-up photocopy of a photograph that today hangs in one of the bunkers in Auschwitz. Lebovics is in the picture, a gaunt, frightened 11-year-old in a crowd of inmates behind barbed wire.

On this trip, Lebovics went back to Treblinka for the first time, where she said Kaddish for her two sisters where they were murdered. Three brothers and her mother survived.

Lebovics spent her high school years in a displaced persons camp in Germany, where she was taught Hebrew. She earned her high school diploma in 1968 after attending night school in Los Angeles, and then went to college.

For Emil Jacoby and his wife, Erika, the graduation was a sweet moment of continuity, not only because they saw how these kids would carry on a legacy that was almost lost, but because both had taught some of the school’s founders, and the graduates’ parents. Emil, who spent the war in the Zionist underground, for many years was the principal of of Adat Ari El religious school and, as the head of the BJE, served as mentor and role model to, among others, Dr. Bruce Powell, NCJHS founding head of school.

Erika, about whom the movie “Swimming in Auschwitz” was made, never graduated high school, but she went to college and became a therapist. She also taught Hebrew at Camp Ramah, and among her students was Howard Farber, founding president of NCJHS and father of a graduate. Farber signed Erika’s diploma.

And that continuity is what this offering was about. On the one hand, the expected emotions of graduation: cheering, tearing seniors; kvelling, incredulous parents wondering how they have children old enough to be where they just were; faculty, especially at this newly birthed school, proud of the accomplished adults they grew from the insecure ninth-graders that walked through the door.

And on top of that, the inexplicable element that, whether conscious or not, underlies every Jewish event — the vestiges of destruction, the personal but mass-scale tragedy that sits like a veneer on so many families. Here, rather than leave it unsaid, the horror of the past was wrapped into the brightness of what lies ahead.

“I want them to become advocates for the future,” said Sidonia Lax, who had long discussions with the kids on bus rides in Poland and Israel. Lax, whom Powell also counts as a mentor, was 12 when the war broke out. She survived a ghetto and two concentration camps, and leapt from a bombed-out transport with her clothes on fire just days before liberation. She spent her life in the United States volunteering to ensure that the world is a tolerant, safe place, working for neighborhood councils, Jewish organizations, educational institutions and political advocacy groups.

This was her first time in cap and gown.

“For these children, living in comfort like they live today, I want them to learn how to deal with the challenges and the controversies they will be faced with in the future,” Lax said.

The class of 2008, it seems, got a jump-start on that future. And they jumped right in.

Outstanding seniors, Class of 2008


Talia Hill

Graduating from: Bais Yaakov

Heading to: Midreshet Darkeynu, Jerusalem

— Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Education Editor

Leah Hill was in a store with her daughter, Talia (Tali), and was having a hard time communicating with a clerk.

“Oh, I give up,” Leah said.

“Mommy,” Hill immediately responded, “never say you give up. You just have to keep trying harder.”

Those words — one of many spontaneous pep talks Hill gives to everyone around her — are particularly profound coming from Hill. Born with her twin sister, Ariella, after 27 weeks of gestation, Hill has mild cerebral palsy and is hearing impaired.

But despite difficulty walking, hearing and speaking, Hill is graduating Bais Yaakov Los Angeles this month alongside her twin, having kept pace to complete high school.

In fact, Hill has flourished in high school, earning solid grades in all her classes — about nine per semester, covering everything from Jewish texts and philosophy to economics and government. Private aides — including her older sister Eliana — take notes for her and help her with writing, but all the studying, thinking and expressing are up to her.

Eliana Hill said her sister often stays after class to ask more questions and spends recess studying, organizing her notes or even reading the weekly Torah portion, even though that isn’t required for any class. She drops in regularly on the principal, just to say ‘hi’ or to stump him with a well thought-out question.

She’s often up earlier than anyone else in her house and stays up late at night, after an evening schedule that usually includes visiting her grandparents, visits from friends, homework, tutoring, speech therapy, occupational therapy or yoga for physical therapy.

But for those around her, it isn’t Hill’s tenacity that stands out most. What more people see is her giant smile, her good nature and her great sense of humor.

Walking down the halls at Bais Yaakov, an Orthodox girls school near Hancock Park, Hill seems to know everyone in every grade — asking this girl if she ever found her Chumash notes, asking that girl how her math test went, oohing over the friend who got her braces off.

One year, her class voted to give her the annual “Ashes Chayil” award, recognizing the girl who most exemplifies strong moral values, a positive nature and a desire to help others.

When Hill’s aides were unable to make it on the senior class trip with her, two classmates, unwilling to go without their friend, stepped in and said they would help Hill.

And Hill has opened doors for other girls. After completing Yeshiva Aahron Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu through eighth grade, with the help of aides and tutoring, she became the first student with disabilities to be truly integrated through an inclusion program at Bais Yaakov. Today, six other students with physical and developmental disabilities are integrated into the regular curriculum at Bais Yaakov, with modifications when necessary.

“It’s an inspiration to watch her,” said Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn, principal of Bais Yaakov. “After a little while with her, you forget about her disabilities.”

Next year Hill and her family will once again be pioneers. They are making final arrangements for her to attend Midreshet Darkeynu, a Torah study and vocational skills program at Jerusalem’s Midreshet Lindenbaum, designed for girls with special needs such as severe learning disabilities or mild developmental disorders. Hill will be their first student with significant physical disabilities. And while a highly trained staff of counselors is available to help the girls, it will be the first time Hill will be at school without a one-on-one aide.

She’s a little nervous but is looking at it with the same determination and excitement that animate everything she does (and humor — she tells every one she is going to Asia for the year).

“I’m very excited to meet new people and make new friends, and to see my land,” Hill said. “But I’m not very excited because it’s frightening to leave your parents for a whole year.”

But she’s willing to try it, and she and her parents are confident she’ll make it work. Because, as they’ve learned from watching Tali Hill till now, giving up is not an option. You just try harder.

Isabel Kaplan

Graduating from: Marlborough School

Heading to: Harvard University

— Danielle Berrin, Contributing Writer

Perhaps the first real indicationthat Isabel Kaplan had grand dreams was revealed during Halloween in the first grade, when she dressed up as Hillary Clinton. Everything Kaplan has accomplished since then suggests there is hope for a female president yet: At 18, the Harvard-bound senior has already written two novels and helped raise funds to build a basketball court for AIDS orphans at a school in Uganda, as well as nearly $100,000 for the Marlborough Student Charitable Fund, which she created with 15 fellow students and which provides education grants for underprivileged girls in Los Angeles.

A self-declared “feminist since birth,” Kaplan’s concern for empowering women and girls in underserved communities has gone well beyond the confines of her classroom at the Marlborough School, the all-girls academy where she said she has seen the “wonders” of a female-centric environment and learned how necessary education is in allowing girls social and economic mobility.

Inspired by a financial literacy course she took during her sophomore year, Kaplan helped inaugurate the Marlborough Student Charitable Fund. The group has created a highly successful annual event — a fashion show and a gala auction Kaplan co-chaired — and partnered with the Women’s Foundation of California to distribute grants to help local girls finish high school and attend college.

But reaching across town was not enough for Kaplan.

After winning the World Affairs Challenge (a national competition in international relations) with a project on AIDS orphans, she was struck by the discovery that girls her age in Africa became mothers before they could read. Through a teacher’s contact in Uganda, she hooked up with a school for AIDS orphans and organized a pen-pal correspondence with students there. In this endeavor, she established “Girls4Girls,” through which she plans to build a health care clinic in rural Tanzania.

Gifts for Grads That Will Make the Grade


It’s hard to find that perfect gift for the high school or college graduate — something personal and thoughtful but also useful. It’s even harder for distant relatives and friends of the graduate.

Cash and gift certificates can be a tad too impersonal (albeit useful), but you don’t want to break the bank. Whether buying for a high school or college grad, here’s a list of unisex gifts under $50 sure to make the grads give caps off to you:

Quad Camera

Accoutrements’ Quad Camera takes four pictures per click, creating four segment images that capture motion. The prints from this camera are great for creating kitschy wall art for apartments or dorms. This plastic no-flash camera uses standard 35-mm film. You can find this cute little camera at ZGallerie stores. ” target=”_blank”>koshergiftbaskets.com. $14.95.

Traveler’s Journal

This brown traveler’s journal is the perfect size to tote on graduation trips and record adventures and memories along the way. It lies flat so it can be written in easily, and refill sheets can be purchased. ” target=”_blank”>www.swissarmy.com. $16.

Tassel Photo Frame

Let the grad keep a reminder of the special day with this photo frame with tassel keeper. The frame has a space for a 4 x 6 photo and a cardholder and enough white space around the photo for friends and relatives to sign. ” target=”_blank”>www.amazon.com. $19.95.

Crate and Barrel Beach Chair

Grads are ready for a little rest and relaxation after graduation. Heck, they’ve earned it. This Maui Beach Chair lets grads catch some rays and relax comfortably in this comfortable padded chair with foam headrest.

The steel-framed chair adjusts to three positions for comfortable reading and tanning. It comes with an easy-carry shoulder strap so it can be taken anywhere from the back yard to the beach. Available in sky blue, cherry red and citrine yellow. ” target=”_blank”>www.target.com. $29.99.

Touro Teardrop Mono

This minitravel backpack is the ideal backpack for the graduation “I’m off to find myself” trip. This one-strap adjustable pack is dual density, with padded foam to keep out moisture from summer showers. With a built-in pocket and U-shaped front, it comes seven of colors — from candy pink to sky blue. ” target=”_blank”>www.william-sonoma.com. $49.95.