An hour before the morning bell rang students gathered to celebrate the life of someone who touched so many lives at such a young age.
Makayla Castro, known as Kayla, graduated from San Pasqual High school last year.
She attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix on an academic scholarship. Two weeks ago, she was hiking on Camelback Mountain when she fell 100 feet. Several days later, she died in the hospital.
"This is kind of symbolic of Makayla...the light she portrays,” said Kayla’s childhood friend Siena Heidemann.
"She was just like one of the most happiest people I've ever meet. Her laugh. You could not not be happy around her,” said friend Laura Bouck.
"We have an angel looking down on us right now,” said friend Mark Fuson. "It's hard because she was a big part of my life. I spent everyday with her."
More than 100 students showed up early at the football field to release hundreds of balloons.
"It's just cool to see so many people care about her and would come and do this. And just how she's impacted so many people,” said Kayla’s college friend Delcy Hofseth. “Even just the first time I met her she was just so funny. I felt like her best friend already.”
The tribute touched Kayla’s parents.
"It just shows you how many people really love her,” said Larry Castro.
"But it also makes it real. But we have good support. And Kayla has amazing friends,” said Allison Castro.
The Castros revealed to 10News that they plan to set up a scholarship fund in Kayla's name to help out a student every year who shares the same qualities as Kayla.
"All of her coaches ended up calling her smiley. She smiled all the time,” said Larry Castro.
They're finding comfort knowing Kayla's spirit will live on.