June 05, 2013 - Many of them faced obstacles and struggles, and overcame adversity, but they made it.
Students from Renaissance High School proudly walked across the stage and claimed their diploma during a May 29 ceremony at Clarkston High School. (click for larger version)
About 40 graduates from Renaissance High School walked across the stage at the Clarkston High School in the Performing Arts Center on May 29.
Renaissance, an alternative high school, offers a different approach and smaller and more personalized setting than traditional school.
Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock and Clarkston School Board members attended the ceremony to bid the students farewell and wish them luck.
Rock shared some words of wisdom with students.
Rock said he visited the school and spoke with students about things like overcoming barriers, making a difference, spontaneity, creativity, individuality and following your dreams.
"Many of you have overcome a lot to be here today," said Rock. "Always work hard to make your dreams come true."
"We all have an opportunity to be famous in our own way," said Cheryl McGinnis, president of the Clarkston Board of Education. "Belief in something or someone starts within yourself. Always believe in yourself."
The only one that can stop you is you, McGinnis said.
"This diploma is just the beginning and it does not guarantee success," she said. "Have a laser like focus and learn how to exercise control over what you think. Be careful what you pay attention too."
Several scholarships were awarded to students from Baker College, Clarkston Coalition for Youth, Clarkston Community Church, Oakland County Community College, Optimist Club of Clarkston and the Clarkston Rotary.
Baker College presented three students with Baker scholarships worth up to $11,000 a piece.
Brian Lynard and Lindsay Noble served as guest speakers for their graduating class.
Lynard thanked friends, family and teachers for helping him make it through.
"I just want to congratulate all my classmates," he said.
Noble said Renaissance students are like a big family.
"All of us are here for different reasons, but we've come together," said Noble. "We stick up for each other, and we grow together. May everything you wish and dream for your future come true."