Congratulations Class of 2018!
Graduating from high school. What does it mean to you? For me, graduating high school was expected. I never once even contemplated the thought of not graduating from my high school. Both of my parents expected for me to be involved in extracurricular activities, excel in my academics, and graduate high school in four years or less. I never knew anything different.
But then, I decided to volunteer at a Cristo Rey high school in Kansas City, Missouri right out of college. From day one, I realized how different my high school experience was and how meaningful graduation truly was. The students I was blessed to work with didn’t always have a support system. Some students had zero expectations for themselves. Some students didn’t even care to be at school at all because there were more pressing matters that occupied their minds; making money at a job after school, family struggles, taking care of their siblings, violence and so many other concerns that I’ve never had to think twice about. Yet, these are the exact same reasons why June 1, 2018 was such a special day.
On this day, I witnessed 65 studious, vibrant individuals walk across the Alter of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Church to receive their high school diplomas. Having volunteered and worked with many of these seniors, now graduates, sent a flurry of emotions throughout my body. Each and every one of them just reached a milestone that some would have said to be impossible; some of which may have even told themselves this. When I regained my composure, I remember turning around and looking at the sea of love that filled the church. Mothers. Fathers. Brothers. Sisters. Grandmothers. Grandfathers. Uncles. Aunts. Cousins. In this moment, I had yet another revelation.
The 65 seniors that just graduated didn’t just represent themselves. They represented their friends, their families, and the future generations. Many of these young adults were the first of their families to have graduated high school, let alone being accepted to attend a university!
This class has demonstrated their grit and their perseverance. Regardless of their environment or circumstances, each one of them faced adversity and came out on top.
Each one of them has inspired not only myself, but also their younger siblings, the future generations, and anyone who doesn’t believe in themselves.
To the families of these bright young adults.
To the faculty, staff and administration of Cristo Rey Kansas City.
And of course...
To the Class of 2018, CONGRATULATIONS!
Go out and share your beautiful story with the rest of the world.
Stay Safe, Stay You =]