Power to KIPP grads

ByJessie Nocella

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On Thursday night, KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate’s (KALC) Class of 2016 was commenced at Lynn City Hall.

Salutatorian Enorenegbe Idahor reminisced about her school years and how important the experience will be in the future.

“As we leave KIPP, we are going to enter a new journey in our lives,” she said. “But it is important to take what we learned here with us.”

Drea DeAngelo, head of KALC, encouraged parents to stand, bringing about half of the audience to their feet in applause.

She highlighted the outstanding student achievements including the fact that more than 1,000 college applications were submitted by the graduating class and 480 acceptances.

“No matter what comes your way,” she said. “Whether it’s academic, or social or emotional, or just plain unexpected, you have it and need to approach it with courage and come out on the other side a better, stronger person.”

Valedictorian Jefferson Prakob explained how his class overcame success and failures.

“Class of 2016,” he said. “You aren’t labeled by what you fail to do, but what you strive to do and eventually what you actually do.”

Prakob talked about the struggles of people doubting KALC. But said students reached beyond expectations.

“You are someone who can grow out of the crack of concrete of a city that is looked down upon and survive,” he said.

Class Elected Speaker Keyla Betances said the school provided guidance to all of its students.

“KIPP is a school where if a student needs help there is always a hand there,” she said. “Whether it’s a staff or a student, they will stay with you until you have achieved and succeeded your goals.”

Michael Brown, keynote speaker, is an education reform leader from Memphis. He applauded them for all the overtime they worked to provide for their kids, the time they took to help with homework and the mornings they made sure their child was on time to school.

“We are just pulling out they greatness that you, since birth, have put into your kids,” he said.

Brown told the 68 students how they are making history because they contributed to the all-time low rating of Black and Latino drop-outs. Brown told a story about how this group of students had been videotaped as fifth graders as an example for other charter schools.

“You created a blueprint that people around the country are trying to follow,” he said.