Bright Spots: University Charter School seniors make history as first graduating class

While graduation season is in full swing, one West Alabama class is making history. The 2023 senior class at University Charter School in Livingston is the first-ever group graduating from the school after the school opened its doors in 2018.

“To be honest, it feels good to know that you can make history at a school and be the first graduating class,” senior Jeremiah Walker said.

“It’s really cool because we get to set the tradition,” senior Kendall Lacoste said.

“It’s amazing,” senior Like Goldman said. “It is something that I will never forget. We are making history. Not many schools get to do that.”

Many of us go to school with the same classmates from kindergarten through 12th grade. That wasn’t the case for this class.

“I came the second year the school was started,” Walker said. “When I first got here, I was scared. It was real bad. I kind of got the hang of it and met new people.”

“It was very scary, but exciting,” senior Mayra Cardenas said. “Once I had figured out that it was interracial, I definitely wanted to come over here since in my past I had a lot of difficulty getting bullied because of my race.”

Though the change was scary for these students when they enrolled, they all said it was worth it when they found a home at University Charter School.

“Our three main core values are compassion, integrity, and perseverance,” Goldman said. “I feel that if anyone can gain them the knowledge of those values and take them into their future life, they are going to go to great places. ”

“The teachers are more focused on you and they will learn your pattern to help you,” Cardenas said. “My brother has ADHD, and with their help he is thriving right now. I feel like without them genuinely caring, he would have been very lost. So this school has helped a lot, both me and my small brother.”

Seventeen young men and women will graduate in this inaugural class. And members of this class know they are destined for big things.

“I am going to school at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri,” Walker said. “So, like 10 hours, which is really far. Coach Mosley has helped me a lot to prepare me for college and get me where I am right now. Strength and conditioning and all that kind of stuff. Lifting weights to get me to the best of my ability, so I can be the best person.”

“I actually got a full ride to play basket ball at UWA,” Lacoste said. “So I think anybody can do anything if they put their mind to it. ”

“It’s not where you are that matters what you can do,” senior Savanah Burg said. “It matters what you can push yourself to do. Take chances, try new things. You can go out into your community. Even if it’s a small town or a small school, there are opportunities everywhere.”

Needless to say, this class is very close. They said they are sad to be splitting up as they go their different ways in this world, but they find comfort in knowing they’ll always be united as the University Charter School Class of 2023.

“Class of 2023, I hope you achieve all you want to do,” Lacoste said.

“I wish for them the best and that they chase their dreams and become the best that they can be,” Walker said.

“Class of 2023, thank you so much for the memories and for making me come out of my shell,” Cardenas said.

“Class of 2023, it has been an awesome ride with you guys,” Burg said. “I am so proud of all of you guys and your achievements. I am thankful for everyone who has been there helping me going forward.”

“Class of 2023, Don’t ever give up,” Goldman said. “Keep going forward and keep pursuing your goals and just do great things.”

University Charter School will hold its first commencement ceremony Tuesday, May 23, at their new school location.


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