Twenty-five teenagers took their first step into adulthood Saturday morning as First Presbyterian Christian Academy ushered out the graduating class of 2017.
Lt. Col. Indira R. Donegan, battalion commander of the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, said the seniors will soon be thrust into the real world.
“The world is waiting to devour you,” she said. “It is going to do everything it can to make you lose yourself.”
She said the seniors’ path to success and happiness will come if they follow three simple principles: Pray hard, work hard and serve others.
Valedictorian Cecilia Graham spoke fondly of her classmates.
I remember about being a freshman and thinking about how long high school would be,” she said. “As days and weeks passed we measured it in semesters and later in periods as we went from being a flustered freshman to a sophisticated sophomore. We thought we had it all figured out. By the time we reached our juvenile junior year we were confident that we were prepared to take over the graduating seniors and we couldn’t wait to rule the school. Now here we stand. Our rule is over and it is up to the next class to step into our shoes and take over.”
She became emotional when recognizing her parents, who she said taught her to be fierce, patient and determined to chase her dreams.
Salutatorian Victoria VanBeverhoudt said the next chapter in life will see her classmates experience new opportunities and change.
“Always live a life that honors God, keep the faith, be courageous and persevere,” she said.
The 2017 FPCA graduates are: Brandon Attical, Autumn Beasley, Nathaniel Burriss, Isiah Dickey, Ausar and Auset Gibbs, Jordan Gilliard, Jamison Golson, Cecilia Graham, Trayvon Harris, Jerry Hendrix, John Killough, Gizangely Marrero, Xavier McCartney, Brantley McCorkle, George Mitchell, Nasmeek Murphy, K’ane Nunn, Morgan Schmitt, Matthew Smith, Victoria VanBeverhoudt, Isaiah Waller, Miranda Wells, Mary Kathryn Whitney and Jingyue Wu.