ST. PETERSBURG — Tues., June 2, families gathered together at the Historic Manhattan Casino Ballroom located at 642 22nd St. S., all geared up to see their loved ones graduate high school. Forty -four students proudly marched one by one down the center aisle to the sounds of “Pomp and circumstance March #1” played over the loud speakers.
Smiling faces could be seen from wall to wall, for these students receive their high school diplomas, an achievement they had been working toward for years.
Interim Principal Joy Baldree welcomed the students of MYcroSchool Charter High School, their families, faculty, staff, board members, as well as members of the community for being in attendance to celebrate the monumental milestone.
Valedictorian Rebecca Rodrigues gave a powerful speech of how she overcame becoming a mom at 17 and still was able to earn her diploma with the help of family and staff at MYcroSchool. Rodrigues emphasized how important this achievement was to her and how much it would help not only herself, but her young daughter as well.
Salutatorian Anissa Basulto gave the farewell speech to her fellow students. Her advice was received with nods from her classmates, but one quote really stuck out and earned applause and shouts of agreement from the audience – something her father had said to her: “It is not the hand you are dealt, young lady, it is how you play the game.”
During the presentation of diplomas each student walked with head held high, their pride and sense of accomplishment resonated throughout the room. When Rodrigues walked the stage, the room erupted with applause because her daughter was in tow to receive her diploma.
The MYcroSchool program offers an alternative route for non-traditional students to receive their high school diplomas, rather than only having the option of receiving a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
Located at 840 3rd Ave. S., MYcroSchool accepts students ages 16 to 21. Part of the program’s philosophy is to view its students as “at-promise” for success, rather than “at-risk” for failure.
Many of these students faced countless obstacles in their paths, and all 44 graduates, through perseverance and hard work, managed to leap past these hurdles to become the graduating class of 2015!
This year’s commencement address was delivered by Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth T. Welch.