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Alex Horvath / The Californian

Students line up in the school gymnasium prior to the start of the Centennial High School graduation ceremony for the class of 2013.

College is a defining moment, and not just in the life of the student who gets in. It takes parents, teachers and, in a larger sense, the community to groom and shape tomorrow's business leaders, doctors, tech titans and humanitarians.

In other words, we all deserve a pat on the back -- and we'll get it in this year's edition of College-Bound Seniors, The Californian's annual salute to the hard-working high school seniors headed off to college in the fall. Last year we had in the neighborhood of 1,000 smiling faces -- a record -- in our multi-page spread, with destinations ranging from Bakersfield College to Dartmouth College.

We offer this recognition of our outstanding local students at no cost to contributors, but we do need your help. Please send us your name and phone number, which will not be published, and the following information on your senior:

First and last name

High school

College he/she will be attending

Studio-style photo

We prefer the information be emailed to collegebound@bakersfield.com but will accept drop-offs at The Californian's office, 1707 Eye St., or by mail: The Californian, College-Bound Seniors, PO Bin 440, Bakersfield, Calif., 93302. Photos will not be returned.

Deadline is Friday, May 16.