Wednesday, June 20, was an exciting day at the Raymond Hill School (RHS). Ten proud, hardworking students crossed the stage to receive their diplomas—one of the school’s largest graduations yet.
Each graduate had created a video for the occasion to share thoughts about their experience at the school, future dreams, and advice for underclassmen. A common theme was the students’ appreciation for the dedication shown by staff at the school. One thanked staff for believing in her when she didn’t believe in herself; another echoed that sentiment, saying, “I thought I couldn’t make it, that I wasn’t worth nothing,” but that she had gained confidence thanks to her teachers’ confidence in her.
A 2010 graduate of RHS spoke at the graduation about his successes since graduation and reinforced the new graduates’ words, saying that though he couldn’t see it then, he now sees what a difference RHS made in his life. He encouraged current students to listen to their teachers and take advantage of the incredible resource that they are.
What’s next for this year’s graduates? Eight of the ten will be continuing in the Raymond Hill School’s post-graduate program, L.I.V.E., where they will spend 80% of their time in the community at worksites and 20% of the time working on prevocational and independent living. Beyond that, they dream of becoming a chef, a nurse, a rapper, an interior designer, or a diesel mechanic technician. Having seen how hard each one is willing to work to overcome difficulties, we know they will succeed in the future.