Hundreds of people gathered at King Central Park Tuesday night to see a glimpse into Stokes County’s future. Thirty seven graduates from Stokes Early College High School walked the stage to receive their well-earned diploma.
Principal Misti Holloway described the graduating class as kind and sentimental.
“You have persevered. The journey has not always been an easy one for all of you,” she said. “We have graduates who are caregivers to their parents and grandparents. We have those who are burdened with the added responsibility of being the bread winners in their family. We even have students who don’t have the security of sleeping in the same place for more than a few nights at a time. But through all of these circumstances you have persevered and you have the grades and scholarship dollars that proved you’ve worked hard.”
Holloway said this class of graduates shattered records by earning $4,922,284 in scholarship offers.
“Several of you have earned full academic scholarships and others have enough scholarship money to receive a bachelors and master’s degree. One of you has been offered just shy of one millions dollars in scholarships awards. This accomplishment is due to your diligence, sweat, tears, and determination.”
Holloway reminded graduates they each possess special gifts and unique talents.
“Use this to make a difference and to make the world a better place. We’re proud of you and look forward to seeing the many accomplishments you are going to achieve from here on,” she said.
Guest speaker, Wanda Starke from WXII 12 told students to be passionate about learning.
“You have so many opportunities to expand your mind. Work hard and do your best because you never know who’s watching,” she said.
Starke went on to urge the young adults to be kind.
“Our world, thanks to social media can be an increasingly mean place. Don’t contribute to the toxic atmosphere. Demonstrate kindness in every opportunity. You will benefit and others will benefit as well. Kind people are the best kind of people.”
Valedictorian Isabelle Lindsay, who will be attending Winston Salem State and is the recipient of the prestigious Chancellor’s scholarship, encouraged her peers to thank those who’ve invested in their lives.
“With my family’s support I can do anything. I want all of you to take a minute and reflect on all the sacrifices that were made for you. Whether it’s your parents who sacrificed time and provided tools for success or friends who listened to you, siblings or grandparents,” she said.
“We have all overcome many challenges in our short lives but that is only a fraction of what we will achieve. In remembrance of all that has been sacrificed we endeavor to persevere as the class of 2016,” Lindsay said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.