The 2011 graduating class from Meadowbrook High School ended their high schools years with inspiring and motivating messages from the speakers during their commencement exercises last Friday. But after all the speeches, well-wishes and honors, it was the recognition of the very first graduate to receive his diploma that set the stage for the remainder of the candidates as they crossed the stage. Philip Qlutade Akinrinmade was ending his final day in public education with never missing a day of school He had achieved perfect attendance from kindergarten through his final senior year of school.
Their principal, Dr. Thomas Ferrell said, “The end of one journey signals the beginning of another.” David Wyman, Chesterfield County School Board representative for Dale district added saying, “Your actions can move mountains and your deeds can change lives, ” and Jim Holland, Board of Supervisor representative for Dale district concluded as the commencement speaker saying, “If you believe you can you can go all the way with perseverance. Never under estimate yourself and never quit.”
The 374 graduates also received final words from their classmates, Salutatorian, Ivelisse Velez and Valedictorian Srina Patel.
Velez spoke about progressing through life and having meaning and purpose, but she touched on many of her classmates hearts with reflecting on the strength and connection the class had as a community. “We are connected on the same line with the same goals to conquer the intimidator – adulthood.” Vales said her greatest memory of her high schools years was when the class came together during the Homecoming Spirit week and honored the loss of a classmate, Joshua Green, by wearing black. She will be attending the U.S. Military Academy Prep School at West Point and study journalism and philosophy.
Patel spoke about overcoming fears and growing up to become responsible and independent. Patel, who will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University studying psychology goal is being a foreign service officer. She said, “This is the end of our adolescence and our journey into adulthood. We have come from being cowardly lions to courageous Monarchs.”
Specials awards included: the Superintends Award for Academic and Citizenship which included a $1,000 scholarship by an anonymous donor. Recipients were Rashidah Burns and Ivelisse Velez. Recipients of the Faculty Scholarship were Angelica Arias and Stephen Shipp. Ahmad Stewart was recognized as the recipient of the Mack D. Moore Memorial Scholarship.