On Saturday morning, my dad and I flew to New York to take in the 2nd graduation of Hyde-Bronx. Suffice it to say that it was every bit as inspiring as the first.
From my perch in the front row, I found myself right at eye level of the feet of the graduates as they ascended the stairs to the stage where they received their diplomas and made their speeches. (And, yes, just like at Bath and Woodstock, their parents and families stood in the audience as they gave their remarks.) I was quickly struck by… The Shoes. While the guys were sporting fairly drab footwear, the girls were stylin’ and profilin’! Hence, some shoe shots.
At risk of understatement, it was an emotional afternoon. As I am at all Hyde graduations, I was as moved by the parent and family reactions — smiles, tears, cameras — as I was by the words of their loved ones, the graduates. The young man in the photo below, highly intent on capturing his brother’s (Jassiel Javier, headed to John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY) moment for posterity, is just one example.
But, as always, it was the speeches that truly carried the day. Each of the 55 seniors was given one minute to make his or her point. And each graduate did exactly that. Here are a few lines that grabbed me:
– “Hyde isn’t simply a school; Hyde is a lifestyle.” – Natalie Chavez (headed to CUNY – Hostos Community Campus);
– “I’d like to thank Hyde, my parents, and the sidewalks… for keeping me off the streets.” – Ely Gonzales (headed to NYC College of Technology);
– (On why she wants to be a veterinarian): “… because sometimes unique potential has four legs.” – Marydith Murillo (headed to CUNY – Fiorello LaGuardia campus)
– “At times, at Hyde I was so stressed, I got grey hairs in my weave.” – Keisha Osei (headed to Ithaca College);
– “When I started out here, following the Hyde principles was not my idea of school.” – Daniel Ospina (headed to CUNY – Fiorello LaGuardia campus);
– and my personal favorite: “The only person I should be better than is the person I was yesterday.” – Sierra Stevens (headed to John Jay College of Criminal Justice of CUNY)
So, Congratulations Class of 2014! Whether you went to school in The Bronx, Bath, or Woodstock… Well done!!!
Onward, Malcolm Gauld