A Chicago high school celebrated its first graduating class on Monday when 119 students walked across the stage. Members of Johnson College Prep cheered as they took their first steps as high school graduates.
The school is located on Chicago’s south side in the Englewood community.
Among the persistent are Aaris Walton and Kristopher Coachman. Her goal is to become the founder and CEO of her own magazine company; his is to become an electrical engineer.
Both say guidance from staff at their school near 63rd and Stewart, plus strong family support, helped bring them to this moment.
They’ve seen the violence plaguing neighborhood streets and say the struggle to move past it is real. “It does influence people and sometimes it influences them to a point where they can’t overcome it. But I’m just happy that I’m able to,” Walton says.
Walton heads for the University of Michigan while Coachman prepares to attend the University of Virginia in the fall.
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