last night i attended the high school graduation of a young lady that i have been mentoring for three years now. when i first met her she was in a non traditional school setting and living in a type of facility. since then she has moved to a group home, went to a main stream school and is attending college in the fall. she has had her fair share of bumps in the road, but has overcome each and ever one with a grace that is had to replicate. she put a tear in my eye when i pulled up to the house and she was wearing her cap and gown in powder blue. after i commented on how she looked like a high school grad she responded with “i look terrible!” to which i had to say “WHAT” her argument being that the robe was too big. i tried to explain to her that is the beauty of the robes (they are not supposed to be form fitting!) but it was lost on her mostly because of the excitement and nervousness she was feeling at the present time.
we sat outside of the school, on the first night in a long time that it wasnt even threatening to rain, and listened to the school principle, the town mayor, and the guy from the board of education. all of which had very nice encouraging things to say. the student speaches were very well written and the choir was not bad. although if i have to hear “i will raise you up” one more time i may have to jump off of something high.
following the ceremony, the students threw their caps in the air and started to disperse, in all the chaos i hear my name being yelled and saw her running towards me. i gave her a huge hug and she immediately said “LOOK” “I got my diploma and it has my NAME on it!”–more tears from me. we took lots of pictures and had lots more hugs then it was time for the all night party. i am so damn proud of her and i wish her all the best!