For the recent graduates of Entrada, Canyons District’s adult high school, the well-known words of Yoda are more than a memorable quote they’re a mantra to live by.
In fact, “Do or do not; there is no try,” was the motto of the year for Canyons District’s adult high school and a recurring theme at Tuesday’s graduation ceremony at Draper Park Middle School. A proud group of 34 graduates, out of a class of 127 students who graduated throughout the 2013-2014 school year, donned caps and gowns to commemorate their inspiring accomplishment.
Several students shared stories of the challenges in their lives that made graduating from high school difficult, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving goals. “It would have been so much easier to give up, but I didn’t quit,” Mercedez Laguna, a single mother who went back to high school as an example to her daughter, told her fellow graduates. “For me, getting my high school diploma is a stepping stone to a better future. For me, my dream doesn’t end here. I plan to go to college and get my bachelor’s degree so I can show my daughter that with hard work and determination you can do anything.”
Students thanked their teachers for giving them the support and confidence that they needed to further their education. Many of the students who attend the school are single parents with multiple jobs, or come from difficult financial situations but they don’t let that stop them from getting an education. “It’s never too late,” graduate Marcela Sanchez told her class, as she described how she attended Entrada while working two jobs one full-time and one part-time and raising two kids. “If I did it, so can you.”
Representatives from Canyons District, including Robert Green, a member of the Canyons Board of Education, and Karen Sterling, Director of Student Advocacy and Access, attended the ceremony and congratulated the students on their success. Completing high school while navigating the seas of life can be challenging, Sterling told the crowd, but it’s worth it.
“You had the courage to turn head long into life’s storm and you are better for it,” she told the audience. “Your education is the most important thing you will do today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life. It will open the world to you.”