Each year, Vanguard invites students to bring their grandparents to campus for a day full of free activities. It’s a chance for student’s grandparents to see and experience their grandchild’s home away from home. One student, junior communications major Shahla Hijaz, said that her grandparents “were genuinely excited, happy and honored to be there.”
Sharing their experience, Hijaz said her grandparents, Manuel and Gloria Garcia, were excited to have the chance to be with her and to catch a glimpse of the place that provides her education and contributes to her overall growth. Coming from Simi Valley, the Garcias are Hijaz’s mom’s parents. Hijaz spoke of the blessing her grandparents have been in her life and her gratitude for the close relationship she shares with them. “They’re always so excited to support me,” she said.
For the event, Vanguard hosted multiple activities for students and their grandparents to enjoy. Activities included dining and devotions, a presentation by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Celebration of Significance Luncheon. At the luncheon, Vanguard’s choir sang, warming the hearts of multiple attendees. Hijaz said that her grandmother thoroughly enjoyed the singing and even felt tears well up in her eyes.
After the event’s activities, Hijaz took her grandparents on a little tour of the campus. When showing them the communications office, she had the chance to introduce her grandparents to many of her professors as they passed through. Looking back on the introductions, Hijaz laughed as she pictured her grandmother skipping the handshakes and going straight for the hug with each professor. “She greets everyone with a warm embrace… She’s a hugger. She doesn’t shake hands,” Hijaz said.
At the end of the day, Hijaz, her mom and her grandparents went to Balboa for a boat tour. Looking back on the day, Hijaz said: “That was exactly the medicine I needed: Their love and comfort.” With school being pretty overwhelming at the time, their short visit was the spark she needed to keep going and finish the semester strong.
To learn more about Grandparents Day, click here.