Graduations are an exciting time!
As I think back on my own Grade 6 experience, I have to say that I really loved school. I had supportive parents, great friends and wonderful teachers, which made my learning experience a positive one and also a huge catalyst for me later becoming a teacher.
My transition from Sixth Grade to Seventh Grade was smooth. I just had to move from one campus of the school to another.
Going to school, for me, was a relaxed and happy time.
But, let’s take a moment to consider what some of our ZOE children have accomplished in their short lives to even reach this point of graduation. For many it has been a struggle. Not just on an academic level but in ways that we can only imagine. The resilience of these children, their persistence, their courage and their strength challenges me in my own life.
These children are truly inspiring!
One of our volunteers, Denise Tang, gave a wonderfully encouraging speech at graduation that left me feeling motivated and ready to go on and do great things!
I want to share part of it with you:
You were challenged to learn academically…and you did!
You were challenged to grow in leadership skills…and you did!
You were challenged to learn to work with people different than yourselves…and you did!
We are all so proud of you! Most importantly, God is so proud of you! He is so proud of you because you have persevered. You didn’t give up when it got tough in school. And because you persevered, you are sitting here ready to graduate.
As you move on from here, I encourage you to take all you have gained and discovered here and to build upon it. The road ahead will not always be easy, but the beauty is, God is there.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you…”
What a wonderful promise!
These ZOE graduates each had a dream to complete elementary school… But we know a dream alone is not enough. Despite what happened in their past, they had to do the hard work required. They had to set goals, focus and study to make the impossible, possible.
To the wonderful ZOE parents who stood right by these children, who believed in them throughout the ups and the downs, who helped them with their homework and supported their dreams when it all seemed too hard: you truly are amazing!
These special parents are testament to a life given and sacrificed to see someone else overcome great odds and reach their goal.
Having the privilege to witness the achievements of these children is a great gift that I will long cherish.
On behalf of the whole ZOE family, we say “Congratulations Grade 6 Class of 2012!” We are all so proud of you.