IMG_6557On May 18, Lift For Life Academy family, friends and supporters packed the auditorium at Harris-Stowe State University to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2016. An amazing 99% of our seniors graduated, and all of those graduates have been accepted into 2-4 year higher educational institutions and/or the military. We’re very excited to see the paths that these 73 extraordinary individuals pave as they make their way towards bright futures.

After the seniors made their procession and took their seats, they received a once-in-a-lifetime commencement address made by former social secretary to the Obama administration and current Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Publishing Company, Desiree Rogers. Not only does Ms. Rogers currently oversee the publishing of magazines like Ebony and Jet, but she was also the firstIMG_4367 African-American person, male or female, to serve as White House Social Secretary.
“Stand up for what you believe in,” Ms. Rodgers proclaimed to our students. “Who you are will lead you. Own your story, and ask yourself what’s holding you back and how do you make it? You use your heart, smarts, guts and luck.”

Her message resonated with everyone, especially the idea of looking at each new problem and obstacle as an opportunity to learn and grow. After Ms. Rogers finished her address, students were honored with various awards and scholarships, including:

SEMO Scholarship – Award for Excellence

Nikkole Sykes

Leasia Harrington

John D. Mann Scholarship – Award for Outstanding Academics

Nikkole Sykes

Terriana Glass

Founder’s Scholar Award – Award for Academic Improvement

Kayla Thompson

Breshawna Simmons

Travon Moorehead

Nobel (Noble) Award – Award for Academic and Citizenship)

Evan Collier

Nicholas Rolfi

Jordan Charitable Foundation Scholarship – Award for Highest Class ACT Score

Cameron Banks – 29

Touch The Future Scholarship – Award for Youth Leadership

Tubias Johnson

For Pete’s Sake Scholarship – Award from For Pete’s Sake for Academics

Terriana Glass

Sherrell K Smith Lift A Life Award – Award for Scholar Athlete

Breion Randle

Future Author Scholarship – Award for Pursuit in Writing

Nicholas Rolfi

Genesis Tafari

Math Awards

Highest Grade in Calculus – Nikkole Sykes

Highest Grade in Statistics – Cameron Banks

Most Improved Math Grades – Nicole Elie and Travon Moorehead

Educated Girls Rock Award – Award for Determined, Educated Girls on the Move

Terriana Glass

Kimmarrah Phillips

IMG_6488Overall, the Class of 2016 received many external scholarship awards in addition to these internal awards given at the ceremony. In fact, they received over $1.6 million in scholarships altogether! Amazing!

After diplomas were handed out, special diplomas were bestowed to Saadiq Mohammed, the Somali refugee who moved to the US to finish high school at LFLA before playing college soccer, and Robert Eberhart & Chelsea Harris, members of the class who passed away during the 2014-15 school year.

We are so proud of the Lift For Life Academy Class of 2016 and all of their accomplishments. It was bittersweet to let these Hawks fly away from the nest of the Academy, but now we’re ready to see them soar!