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Early and Middle Colleges Hold First 2023 Graduations
May 22, 2023 – Graduation season has officially kicked off with students from the Early College of Forsyth and Middle College of Forsyth receiving their diplomas on Monday morning.
Both the Early College and the Middle College collaborate with Forsyth Technical Community College to help students work on their high school curriculum and extra college credit at the same time. Learning in smaller groups and accessing additional academic support services helps prepare these students early for the rigors of higher education and their future careers. They even have the honor of saying that they received their associate degrees before their high school diplomas.
“By taking on the challenge of college coursework while still in high school, you’ve demonstrated a thirst for knowledge and intellectual growth that is truly inspiring,” Forsyth Tech Chief Officer of Student Success and Strategic Innovation Paula Dibley told the Class of 2023.
College coursework wasn’t the only extra hurdle that the Class of 2023 had to clear on the path to graduation. These students’ freshman year of high school was interrupted by the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and much of their academic careers has been defined by how they’ve adapted to the changing landscape of education since then. Their resilience in the face of adversity has left them feeling ready for anything.
“I’ve learned to love, to conquer, to be kind, and to succeed,” said Early College Salutatorian Brittany Santana. “I’ve learned to always keep pushing to achieve my goals.”
Looking towards the future, these graduates can do anything they set their minds to. Many will begin careers and join the military, while others will continue their education at universities around the country. They’ve earned over $1.5 million in scholarship opportunities this year, and they’re sure to make good use of that money in the fall. Whatever they do next, the speakers at the graduation encouraged the graduates to have faith in themselves and give their best efforts to what they believe will make them feel most fulfilled.
“The reason I’ve stuck with being an educator for 40 years is because I found my passion,” Board of Education Member and Keynote Speaker Richard Watts said. “If you play, if you persist, and if you have passion, then you will find your joy.”
There are dozens of other graduations on the way this year, and that means there are sure to be many more celebrations of the incredible journey this year’s graduating class has gone through together. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has been honored to give these students a place to learn.
“These past few years have been incredible, being around such a warm and welcoming administration who have continuously offered wisdom, guidance, and memories that will last a lifetime,” Middle College Valedictorian Ethan Magnante said.
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