Senior’s love passes state lines




When senior Jaydynn Santos’ boyfriend, Daniel Vasquez, finished his high school career early to begin training at a marine boot camp in San Diego, she refocused her energy on fashioning him a gift for his return in March. Santos harnessed social media to craft a present that incorporates people across the nation.

“I’ve been trying to get stuff to surprise him once he gets back and to let him know I’ve always been thinking of him since he’s been gone,” Santos said.

The gift started with a post on social media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook, where she asked people from other states to make and send a picture of themselves with a note card reading ‘Daniel, Jaydynn’s love for you is so big it has reached’ their respective state. Santos plans to bind the photos together in an album to surprise him, as soon as she recieves photos from all 50 states to complete the set.

“It makes me think of him and keeping him close to my heart, so it’s always good to have that,” Santos said.

Santos found the inspiration for the project on “GFs Fiancees and Wives of Recruits”, a military group on Facebook, and soon set out to make it a reality.

“I saw a few people do it and I thought it was a really cool idea,” Santos said. “I was like ‘I’ll have enough time to get it together and he won’t see me making it.’”

Santos soon received responses from people, including those from other countries. She has almost reached all 50 states, with photos sent in from an additional three countries – Mexico, Hungary, and Croatia – an outcome she didn’t predict.

“I’m so grateful for people helping me out and I didn’t think I’d get this far so I’m really happy about that,” Santos said. “I didn’t think [I could] because I didn’t have much connection with people outside of the state. Most of my family lives inside California.”

However, she was able to approach several family members and a few of her friends, in order to extend her reach.

Santos’ friend and fellow senior Gabby Ordaz contacted people she knew out of state, in an effort to support Santos and her dedication to the project. Having developed friendships with both Santos and Vasquez throughout the years, Ordaz admires the meaning behind Santos’ efforts.

“She’s very driven,” Ordaz said. “She has her mind set on finishing it and getting all 50 states. I’m very proud of her because I know it’s something she wants to do and she wants to see that smile on Danny’s face,” Ordaz said.

While Santos misses Vasquez during their time apart, she looks forward to their reunion and finds emotional encouragement in the people she loves.

“It does get lonely but my friends are there to support me so when time gets hard they are there for me,” Santos said. “I’m really proud of [my boyfriend], because he graduated early to be able to do what he wanted to do since he was 12 years old.”