Niles non-traditional programs graduate Class of 2024

Published 1:50 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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NILES — Dozens of friends, family and community members gathered at Michiana Christian Embassy, 1922 E. Main St., Niles, Tuesday night as a record 76 graduates from Niles Adult Education, Niles Cedar Lane, WAY Niles and Niles Virtual School were able to be recognized for their hard work and call themselves high school graduates.

“It reminds us all that we are capable of achieving greatness, regardless of obstacles that we face,” he said. “Their journey encourages us to support one another and lift one another up and celebrate any milestone, no matter how small or big.”

Dr. Ayana Redding was the night’s guest speaker and delivered a congratulatory poem to the graduates.

“You have the power to be whatever you choose. Always make the right choices and you will never lose,” she said. “This speech was designed to be short and sweet, congratulations to you, high school: you came and conquered, indeed.”

Anna Wheeler of Lake Michigan College was on hand to present Morgan Smith with a $1,000 Adult Education Scholarship and Jennifer Kirksey of NCS Custodians presented a $200 Kick The Can Scholarship to Emily Morales. Prior to the presentation of graduates, the students were invited to the podium to dedicate their achievements to friends, teachers and family members. 

Jay’Briel Stokes was the class’ student speaker and congratulated his classmates and encouraged them to accomplish their goals with a quote from Milly Thompson, a character from the anime television series “Trigun.”

“Milly Thompson once said ‘every dream begins with a single step. You just have to have patience,’” Stokes said. “I believe those words capture the essence of starting anew and the work of perseverance…. Work towards your goals one step at a time. Don’t be too impatient seeking success, you will reach it when you’re ready. Just keep at it, and congratulations to the Class of 2024.”