LANSING, Mich. — More than 500 students graduated from the Lansing School District Sunday afternoon in four graduation ceremonies held in a parking lot across from the Shirley M. Rogers Administration Building downtown.
Adult education graduates had their ceremony in the morning, followed by Eastern High School, J.W. Sexton High School and Everett High School.
“It’s so exciting! It’s a great feeling,” said Eva Arvizu, 2021 valedictorian of Eastern High School.
Each ceremony was packed with graduates and their loved ones.
“Congratulations, everybody,” said Floyd Johnson, father of a J.W. Sexton High graduate. "Do a good job. Make the world proud and make yourself proud. Work hard, but don’t work too hard.”
“Congratulations, class of 2021! I hope you have all the success in all your future endeavors,” said Anisha Dixon, mother of J.W. Sexton High graduate Ayanna Jackson.
“It actually feels unreal. It still hasn’t even hit me yet. But I’m pretty sure it will tonight," Jackson said. "I feel very proud of myself. It’s been a long 13 years, but I did it.”
Jeffrey Davis, step-father of a J.W. Sexton High graduate, said “All of you have done, not only so well, in surviving and flourishing in extraordinary circumstances, but all of you are going to go on to do great things. I know this. I know this for a fact. All of you are going to go on to do great things no matter how small or no matter how grand, you’re going to do it, and I believe in you. Now get to work.”
All ceremonies concluded with an after-party on the Capitol lawn hosted by the Village Lansing.
Eastern High top ten graduate and salutatorian Christina Nguyen said, now that she's graduated, the focus is, "college, and trying to get over this pandemic."
During each ceremony, Executive Director of Lansing Promise Justin Sheehan quoted Malcom X.
“'Education is the passport to the future. For tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.'” And you all have prepared for today, but as it’s already been said and will be said again is, today is not the end. It is only the beginning,” Sheehan said.
During the ceremonies, Sheehan had each set of graduates turn around to face their loved ones and repeat after him.
“What you do…matters. Who you are…matters. And who you become…matters.”
“Congrats, 2021! I’m so proud of you guys. We made it through such a tough year, and I can’t wait to see what you guys all do in the future,” said Eastern High graduate Dana Minor.
Many other mid-Michigan high schools held graduation ceremonies this weekend.
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