SYF’s Testimonial Thursday – Sage A.,















Graduation Speech by Sage A.
2017 Simon Youth Judson Learning Academy at Rolling Oaks Mall

Good evening and welcome family, friends, and most importantly, my fellow graduates of 2017! I am honored to stand before all of you tonight speaking on behalf of my class.  I know everyone here has worked extremely hard in order to be on this stage tonight. With that said, I also know that a lot of us would not be here today if not given the chance by the Judson Learning Academy. You see, JLA is not a school that just anyone can attend; it is a school like no other, a school that thrives from improving the educational opportunities of “at-risk “youth.

You may be asking yourselves what I mean when I say “at-risk youth”. Simply put, we are the example.  At some point in our educational careers, we all fell behind, so much so that without this school most, if not all of us, would not be here today. However, we are defined by the choices we make now, not the mistakes made in the past. We chose to leave that life behind us, in order to come to JLA, and become high school graduates.

Now, don’t get me wrong…that doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park. I still have reoccurring nightmares of all the modules we had to go through, so many paper cuts! But it was all worth it, not only for us now, but for our future. We still have a long road in front of us. Although we are all adults, we are only now able to close the final chapters of our childhood.

We will leave here today excited, proud, and ready to take on the world! To my fellow graduates, I ask each of you to remember how great this feeling is and whenever you come to a fork in the road, just remember this day and what you have accomplished to keep moving forward! So be proud of yourselves and most of all…enjoy the moment that you walk down this stage. I hope that the choices you make going forward reflect the choices you made this year.

To everyone who came out to support us, I hope you are able to enjoy watching us, the “at risk” students, beat the odds and finally receive our diplomas. Each student in this room deserves a pat on the back for hanging in there and defying the odds.

Thank you JLA for having the patience and optimism for a student like me, a former drop out and now father, and giving me the opportunity to come out here on this stage and talk with honor and dignity on behalf of my class as I receive my high school diploma. Allowing me to not only make myself; but my family proud, and for that, I will forever be grateful!

And finally, thank you all for showing us your support and giving me your time. Congratulations once again, class of 2017!

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