(Carrollton, Ga. – May 22, 2015) 12 for Life held its 2015 ceremony to recognize graduates on Thursday, May 14 at Midway Church. A total of 150 students from Carroll, Haralson, and Heard County Schools completed the requirements to receive their high school diplomas. There were 255 graduates from all 12 for Life programs, including Florence City School System and Great Promise Partnership, for a grand total of 1,095 diplomas awarded since the program began in 2007.
The graduation ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by 12 for Life graduating senior Lacey Day. Mr. Scott Cowart, Superintendent of Carroll County Schools, and Mr. Stu Thorn, Southwire President and CEO, shared remarks with the students. Mr. Mike Wiggins, Southwire Executive Vice President, Retired, introduced a video prepared specifically for the 12 for Life students by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education Johan Uvin, both of whom visited 12 for Life earlier in the school year.
Mr. Thorn introduced the keynote speaker, Ms. Laura Richards, Southwire co-owner. Ms. Richards spoke to the students about following their dreams, and used her work on the development of the Carrollton Greenbelt as an example for the students. Ms. Richards reflected from the Narnia
m o m e n t , b a s e d o n t h e b o o k Th e C h r o n i c l e s o f N a r n i a b y C S L e w i s . “ W h e n t h e G r e e n b e l t s t e p s ‘through the wardrobe’ as it were, and opens up a gorgeous natural vista that, without the trail, maybe no one would have ever seen.” This is a metaphor for the 12 for Life students who are given the opportunity to better their potential at learning and growing to be better citizens in our community.
Each student was recognized by Dr. Douglas Wright, 12 for Life Coordinator for the Carroll County School System. As students walked across the stage, Wright read their names and future plans, including attending college, the military or entering the workforce. Each graduate was given a copper cord to wear at graduation, a Fossil watch, a check for $250, and a certificate of recognition. In addition, achievement awards were given to two outstanding students. Jacory Stephens received the Standard of Excellence Award from Southwire presented by Mr. Blair Parker, Southwire 12 for Life Operations Manager., and Zeke Ricks received the Academic Achievement Award for highest grade-point average presented by Dr. Wright. A total of 24 students were nominated for scholarships. The Harold H. Charles Memorial Scholarship was presented to Brittany Beacham and Nicholas Askew, and the Fulford Family Scholarship was presented to Taylor Dennis and Andruw Keith by Mrs. Kristi Garrett. 12 for Life graduating senior Tiana De La Rosa closed the program with an inspiration.