NERSBA 2023 Commencement

NERSBA 2023 Commencement


Staff Writer

Twenty NERSBA Early College scholars turned their tassels over the weekend, signaling their official foray into the adult world.

Morgan Michelle Barnes, Brandon Ray Berry, Kinjaaya Monique Boston, Katelyn Grace Gurganus, Amani Dakota Johnson, Emma Grace Modlin, Tanner Cole Peele, Madison Grace Respass, Nakeyla Ka’maya Smallwood, Treniyah Brinae Wiggans, Keriah Jamani Bell, Lara Mackenzie Berry, Diana Espinoza, Jayden Martin Guy, Madelyn Joyce Lewis, Nathaniel Pereira Moore, Albert Pena-Charrez, Alexander Santos, Miranda Noel Steward and Leah Nicole Woodley all became the latest NERSBA scholars to walk across the auditorium stage for a memorable and emotional commencement program.

As outlined by NERSBA Executive Director Hal Davis, NERSBA’s class of 2023 was notable for their extracurricular work, selflessness and dedication to learning and acquiring skills in workforce development initiatives.

"As a school, we are proud to note that each of the scholars standing on the stage have helped someone in the community. Each of the students have put their personal well-being, time, wants and needs aside in order to help friends, families and other students,” Davis said. “I’m personally proud to tell you all that 100 percent of the graduates on our stage have been recognized as career and technical education completers with standards set forth by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina General Assembly.”

Before getting their diplomas, the graduates were treated to an inspirational speech by NERSBA Board of Directors Chairman Benjie Forrest. Forrest’s address was rife with equal amounts of humor as well as tips for a successful future.

In particular, Forrest reminded the students that despite the world’s emphasis on higher education, graduating high school remained a significant milestone that was fundamental in achieving their goals and avoiding pitfalls.

“Graduating today from high school is a big deal, personally. You get the opportunity to achieve things that those that never graduated will never have the opportunity to do,” Forrest said. “Some of you are going directly into the workforce. Some of you are going into a community college setting. Some of you are going into a four-year college education. And, some of you are going into the military, but whatever you do, having this high school diploma will help you and put you many times ahead of the game… Congratulations on a job exceedingly well done.”

Afterwards, Davis and NERSBA Principal Billy Ray Askew took to the stage to present the scholarships to each of the graduates before seeing them off for a final time.

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