Graduation 2019: Years of Hard Work and Dedication

Graduation is a momentous occasion in any student’s life. For six COMPASS students, they have reached the moment where they can walk across the stage and accept their diploma. This diploma stands for years of dedication and hard work, not only on behalf of the students, but of their teachers and supporters as well.

Graduating students were joined by their family and supporters for a lunch and graduation ceremony at COMPASS on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. At graduation, Principal Beth Labbe welcomed the attendees, “you’ve taught us strength and courage; think of all that you have overcome and celebrate your accomplishments”. Then, a staff member spoke about each of the graduating students and their progression emotionally, behaviorally, and academically over their time at COMPASS. One staff member, Kelly, spoke of a student who she worked with that came to COMPASS four years ago and was consistently talking about dropping out. Over the course of the last four years, Kelly (among other staff) worked with that student to get him to a point where he is known to her as “one of the hardest working, most caring individuals I have encountered”. Another staff member, Chef Dellicia, spoke about another graduate “hop[ing] for the best in herself and expects from others”.

Next, Executive Director Laura Lajewski presented the students with her famous “Thought for the Day”, where she provided the graduates with a “survival kit” that included many items for their lives post-high school. “Here are toothpicks, to remind you to pick out the good qualities in everyone, including yourself”, Lajewski stated, listing items and their purposes. “And finally, here is a journal to write down your best memories of COMPASS so you will never forget us – we will never forget you!”

Finally, the students were presented with their diplomas close out the ceremony. It was an emotional experience for everyone in attendance due to all of the hard work and perseverance that it took for the students to obtain their high school diploma.

A conversation overhead from a mother to her graduate perfectly summed up this inspiring day: “I have always dreamed that you would become a high school graduate, and now you have finally accomplished that.”

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