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Grads celebrate faith, education

ERICA RODRIGUEZ

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
May 30, 2010 at 12:30 a.m.

Kayla Escalante helps Valedictorian Alice Rodriguez with her wardrobe as they prepare to enter Faith Family Church as the 2010 high school graduates on Sunday.

Faith Academy graduates began their graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon with something they believe is just as important as their education - faith.

"We know this is an answered prayer, from diapers to diplomas," said Dr. Chris Royael, school superintendent.

The 23 graduates nervously fanned themselves and chattered moments before going in the auditorium of Faith Family Church where they would receive their diplomas.

For many, the close-knit Christian atmosphere is what they believe helped them finish.

"Here at Faith, the teachers will go above and beyond to help any student," said Damien Pennington, 19, who believes the faith-basis creates the nurturing atmosphere that helped him graduate - something that almost didn't happen.

The fact that it did was indescribable.

"It's surreal," he said. "It still hasn't even fully sunk in."

The audience shouted cheers and amens throughout the ceremony which was interwoven with Bible verses and spiritual messages.

"You have one live to live, live it to the fullest and give all the glory to God," said Alice Rodriguez, valedictorian, in her address.

Pastor Josh Joines with Faith Family Church, spoke of commitment, passion and discipline shortly before the graduates received their degrees.

"Passion and discipline without action is just daydreaming," he said. "Discipline and action without passion is a fire made from damp wood that quickly goes out. Action and passion without discipline is a race car without a skilled driver. A remarkable performance requires all three."

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