When the renowned Rose Bowl parade snakes its way down the streets of Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day, the work of nine Nimitz High School students will be displayed on a national stage. 

Eight budding students in the Floral Design class – along with their teachers – will travel to the Golden State over the holiday break to work on the floats displayed in the nationally televised parade.

“It’s a really cool opportunity,” says senior Ximena Victoria. “Not only to get to work on something so famous, but also for some people, it’s the first time traveling to California or another state.”

According to Floral Design Teacher Rebecca Valdovinos, a California native, it is uncommon for out-of-state groups, much less school groups, to sign up to help.

“It’s about 50 groups, typically local Girl Scouts troops, church groups and women’s groups,” she says. “This is a very unique opportunity for experiential learning outside the classroom for my students. They will have the chance to explore the floral industry and enhance their understanding of the subjects they study to encourage personal growth and independence.”

Although the group won’t know which float they are working on until they arrive, they know they will be partnering with the company Artistic Enterprises, with the hopes of helping assemble an award-winning float.

“I’m so excited to work on these floats and see the finished pieces and then see them in the parade, knowing we were the ones who did it,” says senior Jamie Medina.

As the students prepare for the trip, they have expressed gratitude to the district leaders and instructors who made the opportunity possible. 

“When Ms. Val told us about it, of course I was excited to go,” says senior Melissa Cruz. “But then I thought, ‘Does it mean I have to pay a fee? Do I have to pay a fee?’ I was willing to! I was ready to start planning fundraisers. Fortunately, the district agreed to pay for it all. I’m so grateful. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Things like this don’t come all the time.”