Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

July 1, 2014

A much anticipated graduation

(Continued)

Lurenda Stenger, Brookville, “came with great goals in mind,” according to Brown. “You know the winter we had. There were days I didn’t want to come in, but I knew she would be there.”

Aaron Durham, Laurel, who took the ICE (Indiana Career Explorer), “was very quiet, but very focused.”

Johnathan Charles, Brookville, told Brown, “‘I’ve been out of school 14 years, but I’m going to do this!’ He demanded a great, big, comfortable chair.” Charles confessed he made Stephen Fritts, his best friend since fourth grade, attend as well. “It was self-esteem for each of us.” A relative noted Charles also got tutoring from his 13-year-old niece.

Heather Cummins, Brookville, had perfect attendance. “She even came on her birthday!”

Philip Banks, Brookville, who worked all day, then attended class at night, “has seen a huge improvement in reading.”

Brown concluded, “This is an amazing group of men and women who all can take away that commitment to a goal.”

Speaker Ralph Profitt, Brookville, had instant rapport with the group. “I’m from an Appalachian family that didn’t have much of an opportunity to complete their education. I was the first one to ever go through grade school and saw there was so much I didn’t know.”

He earned a college degree during “evenings, summers, long nights and long days” as he worked and started to raise a family. The retiree told the graduates, “You’re like me. You’ve shown that you can do it.”

Profitt talked about Walt Disney, who “always encouraged others to follow their dreams until they too became a reality. How do we go about acquiring the mysterious power behind the mystical force we call dreams? It seems to begin by requiring a giant leap of faith … an ability to look ahead … it’s some inward power that kick-starts our engines and gets us started on the journey of our own hopes and dreams.”

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