“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” — Henry David Thoreau
Graduation is a special time – one of life’s milestones. It is a celebration of all we have accomplished, and a stepping stone into a future full of possibility and promise. At Fedcap, graduation takes on special meaning because our graduates have overcome so much to receive their diplomas, and contemplate the next chapter of their lives with a renewed sense of hope. Graduates of Fedcap’s Career Design School, Easterseals’ Child Development Centers and the Fedcap School celebrated this special day with a joy and spirit that was an inspiration to all.
Christine Patrone, a Career Design School graduation speaker, talked about overcoming cancer, domestic violence and the threat of homelessness to begin a career as a home health aide. Now financially secure and looking at nursing schools, Christina read a poem that moved the audience to tears and applause – “I live to see the sun break through the storm, if you remember sunshine on your darkest day, just follow what your heart says and you will find a way. Strong hearts just keep on going, that is why I am still standing here today.”
At the Fedcap School, a program for students 13-21 with cognitive or behavioral disabilities, fifteen seniors graduated in front of cheering family members, teachers, staff and friends. Fedcap School Leadership Award winner Leslie Arrington, a mother of two, has been accepted into a certified nurse assistant program. Before attending the Fedcap School, Leslie could never have even dreamed of a future so full of promise.
“I am so amazed to be standing here. I can’t believe I did it. Life has been hard but Fedcap really helped me,” she said.
Easterseals Child Development Centers provide preschool special education to children ages 3-5. Graduations in Port Jervis, Monticello, Valhalla and the Bronx featured the joyful voices of hundreds of children singing songs. Most are moving on to integrated kindergarten settings; many no longer require special services. Each school offered something special to make graduation day a memorable one for the kids and their families, including a post-graduation carnival, face painting, interactive performances and special awards.
Our staff is so proud to see the growth of the children by year’s end. It is so special to see the parents beaming with pride,” said Marianne Gribbon, Senior Director of Easterseals New York Child Development Centers.
Across the Fedcap family of agencies, we believe in the Power of Possible. Please help us make our graduates’ dreams come true by donating to Fedcap today. Your investment will change lives. Please click here to make a donation.