SPAN graduation honors 16 students
While most high school graduations happened back in the spring, the proud notes of “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the hallways of SPAN of Tuscaloosa County in Holt for 16 students yesterday, Tuesday, July 26.
An acronym for Special Programming Achievement Network, SPAN seeks to help at-risk youth referred by local school systems and the department of corrections to achieve success and become productive adults through education, counseling and positive influences within their own communities.
This year’s keynote speaker was Holt community advocate Ray Allen. His message focused on setting goals and working to achieve them.
“You’ve got to stay focused. You have got to keep your eye on the bullseye,” he said.
Now that Gavin Kizziah has completed his time at SPAN, he said he is a changed young man.
“I was here over a year, and it absolutely changed my life,” Kizziah said.
“From the start I was a very cold, conceited person who felt the need to tear others down. I got here and learned ways to cope and deal with anger and frustration and handle myself in a situation with others. That is the most valuable thing I have learned here. ”
Ironically, two of SPAN’s graduates share more than just their experience through the program. With their tassels now turned, Angel Smith and Angel Smith both have big goals for their lives.
“I want to be successful,” Angel Smith said. “Not just in my job, but in life.”
“I want to strive for what I want in life,” Angel Smith said.
Smith said the people at SPAN loved her and her classmates for who they were.
“Even after the troubles that you have caused and the reason that you are here, they are still going to love you not matter what,” she said.