Salena Pena was not done with school just yet. Included in her graduation ceremony, was her final assignment for speech class. It was about a mystery plague that threatened the entire population, and the blood of one child was the cure. Only the doctors needed all of his blood.
“It was a big message,” Pena said. “I thought it would go well with the ceremony.”
Afterward, audience members approached her saying they had cried she had done so well, Pena said.
Pena herself cried later in the ceremony while giving a second speech about her time at the Upper Learning Center, the high school at Wing’s Christian Academy. It was a long road, she explained.
Without the help of Pena’s instructors, she is certain she would not have graduated.
After working this summer and saving up money, Pena plans to attend Pensacola Christian College in Florida this fall to study nursing.
Her friend, and the only other graduating student this year, Matanya Bush, is coincidently interested in Pensacola Christian College as well.
The graduates didn’t plan to attend the same college but Bush said she was excited they were both looking into it.
Bush said she had a wonderful last few years at the Upper Learning Center. She said had become close with her fellow students including the younger ones in the Lower Learning Center, the elementary school at Wings Christian Academy.
“Stay diligent, and have fun,” Bush said to the younger students during her farewell speech who hollered and laughed loudly to her words of advice.
Bush said she is nervous for the next step. Entering the “adult world,” is scary when there’s no one to hold hands with or have guidance through personal mistakes, she said.
Regardless, Bush said she is looking forward to starting her education. She plans to have a long career as a writer.
“I want to write books,” Bush said. “I might start off with articles though.”
Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly,firstname.lastname@example.org