A teary transformation on the first day of school
Wed, Aug 29, 2012 (12:44 p.m.)
Photo: Mona Shield Payne
Cambeiro Elementary School | August 27, 2012 | 8:59 a.m.
I’ve covered quite a few first-day-of-school assignments as a photojournalist, but today was filled with many more tears than usual. On the crowded playground, 5-year-old Jonathan Mondragon caught my eye as he sobbed heavily after his mom said goodbye. Always looking for a heartfelt story I can capture with my camera, I followed him into the cafeteria for his morning breakfast. Surprisingly, his tears calmed pretty quickly, but once again he was all alone. It broke my heart as he sat there sipping his juice. It took everything I could do to keep myself from going over to hug him. Luckily, before too long, two of his classmates squeezed in next to him and the giggles began. For the next hour, I followed this little dude through his first-day-of-school routine and watched the amazing transformation as a sad, lonely boy became a happy, singing and dancing kindergartner.