Thursday, June 4, 2009

Graduation at the Elsinore on First Wednesday

I just barely got to enjoy First Wednesday as I walked over to the Elsinore last night. As I walked though, I could hear music from different street corners and there were people filling pretty much every outdoor table I could see, from Starbucks to Grand Vines, and from La Capitale to The Six. It gave me a little taste of the potential (there's that word again!) we have in this town. It was like everyone had come out to celebrate with us at the Roberts High School Graduation!

Now, the potential of the graduates at the Elsinore last night was on full display and was fully realized. If you've never been to a graduation at an alternative school, you can't really understand the tears that are shed every year there. Graduation at any school is a great accomplishment, but for students who feared they would never make, for the families for whom this is their first ever graduate, for the staff who labored for months or years to keep the students coming to school, it is nothing short of miraculous.

The stories behind each of these graduates are amazing. Some of them have fought against odds that I can hardly imagine in my safe little life. I am constantly amazed at the resilience of these young people and I feel blessed to encourage and help them along the way. It may have taken extra time, there may have been roadblocks and rough patches along the way, but they kept at it and they finished!

And that's why I keep doing this job. The rewards may not come every day, but when they do, they are inspiring.

One more thing to love about Salem: awesome alternative programs for the kids who just don't fit the mold!


KandN said...

What a wonderful experience it must be! Is it well attended by family and friends?

Rebekah said...

It is very well attended! We can only give out so many tickets and usually people are clamoring for more. There is a lot of excitement, especially among those who are the first in their family to graduate.

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