The Three Rivers HomeLink graduating class is small -- eight seniors in all.
But the students marched to the stage in their caps and gowns Friday to a big round of applause.
“To the Class of 2013: Congratulations!” said Principal Eric Sobotta at the start of the afternoon ceremony.
“We have a strong group of graduates. I feel like this group has a sense of who they are, an identity. They know where they’re going,” he said.
Salutatorian Gabriella Brodaczynski told the crowd that HomeLink in Richland has become another family to her. The people she met and learned from there supported and encouraged her, she said.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned here at HomeLink is to never give up on your dream, because nothing is impossible,” she said.
Valedictorian Eleanor Cummins took inspiration from the late writer Nora Ephron for her speech. Ephron’s mother used to say, “Everything is copy,” meaning Ephron could use every life experience in her writing.
“And while not everyone in this room wants to be a writer, there are other ways of turning things into ‘copy.’ We can write, yes, but we can also talk to those around us whom we trust,” said Cummins, a Tri-City Herald news clerk.
As the graduates “grow up and move out and on,” they should work to maintain their relationship with their parents, said Cummins, whose parents are Meg Woods, a Columbia Basin College history professor, and Rich Cummins, president of CBC.
“Our parents are the perfect people to confide in. They’re a living, breathing journal in which to place your proverbial copy,” she said. “They’re an audience as good as, if not better than, any other.”