In the past four years, we’ve witnessed the Senior High School classes at the Austin Campus transform themselves into young ladies and young men. There were two proms, a combination: The Polytechnical Manufacturing School, along with the Business and Entrepreneurship School. They celebrated their prom together at the World Famous Palmer House. The VOISE School celebrated their prom separately at our wonderful Navy Pier. (Both of the venues are Chicago historical landmarks.)

The students all celebrated their graduations at the Austin Campus. Each class had unique challenges. The graduating classes were very small. Yet they were all very special individuals. It was their day to come out as successful, newly graduated adults. They were ready for the world!

Some of the students were concerned about their families being able to experience their achievements with them. Yumail Brown, a VOISE Honor Society student, just wanted to make sure his mother was able to get inside in time. Shamara Pugh was very excited to receive her diploma. Nunya Ganter was looking forward to attending Illinois State University in the fall.

She stated, “In spite of four principals and all of the changes, I made it!” Desiree Wordlaw and her mother were extremely excited. Her mother was proud that Desiree was disciplined enough to get herself to school every day while she went to work. Desiree was happy to share that she’d achieved perfect attendance. She’s also proud that she will be working toward a college degree in the fall.

Others were very happy to live to see the day.

Personally, I’m proud of each of our young adults. I’d experienced some of their challenges beside them over the years. Yet against all odds, they’ve graduated peacefully. They achieved their high school rite of passage to adulthood. To all of our Austin Campus graduates, congratulations!

Never forget about Austin!