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Milestone celebration honors grads

Fourteen area students were given another shot at success as graduates of the Butler County School System’s Second Chance and Reid State Technical College Adult Education program on Thursday evening.

Family and friends packed the Butler County Board of Education conference room to capacity to celebrate the milestone achievement.

Each of the high school diploma recipients offered words of thanks in addition to a tearful testimony and song from graduate Laketa Patterson.

The guest speaker for the occasion was Pastor Gloria Cook Warren of Indian Hill A.M.E. Zion Church in Greenville, an educator for more than 40 years and a community activist.

In addition to offering words of encouragement to Thursday evening’s graduates, she also warned them of the importance of having a plan.

Warren cited Jeremiah 29:11 as the source of her message: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

“Catch hold to the bridges in life,” Warren said.

Chief among those bridges was, first, the bridge of dreams.

“God has a plan for you,” she said. “But do you have a plan for yourself? Dream big.”

The second warned of self-inflicted wounds–common pitfalls such as drugs, debt, alcohol and other forms of overindulgence.

The third requirement for graduates, Warren said, was hope.

“Trust somebody,” she added. “Find you some family members or friends that you can trust.  It is not good for man to be alone.  Everybody is not your friend.  Sometimes, you need someone to vent to.”

Lastly, Warren urged that graduating alone isn’t enough for success.  It’s only the beginning.

“You are your own worst enemy,” Warren said.  “Doubt and hopelessness are things that I took to bed with me and I woke up with them.

“Don’t let anything distract you or take you off the path.  You already have everything you need.  Go get your dreams.”

The high school diploma recipients were: Phillip Christian Buck, Marques Temar Terrell Grace Jr., Tanye Evette Mickles-Green, Travares Malike Jackson, Anneshia Dechelle Johnson, Victoria T. Johnson, Rayshaun Demonta Moorer, Laketa N. Patterson, Callee Hayden Peterson, Brian Powell, Demontres Tyrell Smith, Shon D’Andre Mondesto Stone, Destinee Lashae Tolin and Labrina Michelle Walton.