The Collaborative for Educational Services HEC Academy in Northampton held a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 3rd, at the Union Station.
Friends, family, and staff joined in celebration with this year’s five graduates, who received high school diplomas from their sending school districts. Included in the graduating class were:
- Xavier Rios-Andrade,
- Diego Stacy,
- Lucas Allen,
- Emily Troy, and
- Aspen Westhaver.
Speakers at the graduation ceremony included CES Executive Director Todd Gazda and CES Board Chair Dan Hayes. Distinguished Alumnae Speaker Tiffany Lawrence Bargeron , a gifted artist with her own business called Meowl Made, commented on her own experience:
“This is a major accomplishment. Take a moment and be proud of it. There are no right answers or rubrics, but to have the help and support of the people around you that have different superpowers than you is important. One thing that I’ve found I’m grateful for is joy. And without tenderness there is no joy.”
Also speaking at the graduation was Quincy McCray. Quin has specialized in teaching youth for fourteen years, including ten years working as a teacher and Teaching Coordinator in the Western Region for CES. Quin shared:
“No two success stories from here will look the same. If you continue to be resilient and persevere, you will be successful.”
HEC Academy is a program of the Collaborative for Educational Services, located in Northampton and working with schools, districts, families and youth in the Pioneer Valley to provide high quality, research-based, and collaborative solutions to ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.