Lansing Public Schools celebrates graduation

Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 8:24 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - They’ve waited long enough for this day to come, but students from Eastern, Sexton and Everett high schools can finally say they’ve graduated.

Graduates said it wasn’t always easy, having faced something like a global pandemic, but they made it. Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said he knew they could make it.

“The fact that they can do it, it’s a testament to their fortitude,” he said. “But also, to the staff and their family.”

Loved ones gathered at the Lansing Center Saturday with proud smiles, and shouts of joy. After almost 14 years spent working toward their diploma, many students are feeling relieved to walk across the graduation stage.

“I’ve had a lot of obstacles in my life, and I still got it,” said graduate Talayah Owens. “So I’m really happy.”

For Eastern High School valedictorian Aenet Anthony, it feels good to cross the finish line, after a less-than-traditional high school experience.

“I felt a bit less prepared for my junior year after spending my sophomore year fully online, but I think it was a challenge that I’ve overcome,” she said. “And it’s something that I can grow from.”

Just as the class of 2023 finished their high school careers, they had the chance to start planning for their future just down the street at a graduate open house, hosted by The Village Lansing at the Capitol. The event returned for another year to help set students on a post-graduation path that’s right for them.

“Every kid is not necessarily wanting to go to college,” said Program Director Michael Lynn Jr. “But they don’t know what to do.”

With college reps, financial aid advisors and potential employers all in one place, some graduates can’t help but think about what comes next. Nilisa Bynum has big plans.

“What I wanted to do was be a zoologist,” she said. “But if I get the chance, to become a vet.”

Graduate Joe Chinib is hoping to enter the workforce as soon as possible, but he has a backup plan in mind.

“I’m most likely going to LCC for graphic technology,” he said.

Although it was an unexpected journey for the class of 2023, they’re taking what they’ve learned, and turning it into opportunity.

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