Looking Glass Center Point and Riverfront alternative schools held their respective 2018 graduation ceremonies on Thursday, June 14th celebrating the culmination of years of hard work and support from teachers, counselors, families and friends for a group of aspiring and inspiring local youth. Each school has its own traditions for graduation ceremonies and each was emotional and celebratory for another unique group of Looking Glass clients.
“The path that many Riverfront students took to walk across the stage was quite different than that of a lot of students graduating this month," said Riverfront Director Cheryl Zwillinger. "They faced challenges in life that many young people their age couldn’t begin to understand. But they stayed with it and achieved their goal of graduating”.
Riverfront graduated 26 students in this year's class (3 from middle school). In addition to comments by Zwillinger, Looking Glass CEO Craig Opperman and other staff, giving this year's commencement address was Eugene City Councilor Greg Evans.
Earlier in the day, in a smaller but no less emotional gathering, Center Point school celebrated two longtime students as they completed their coursework and prepare for their next steps in life. In keeping with annual tradition, Center Point teachers and staff each spoke individually about the two graduates and allowed family, friends and fellow students to comment and congratulate the graduates during the ceremony.
On more than one occasion, comments made by the instructors to the graduating seniors included "...I think you taught me more than I taught you," and "I am a better person from knowing you."
"Our ceremonies are very personalized as we want to ensure that we are taking the time to affirm each graduate for their individual accomplishments during their time with us," explained Center Point Director Lynda Whitener. "School has long been a struggle for most of Center Point School’s students and families, making this celebration even that much more of an important milestone!"