More than 100 graduate HCS

Pastor Wayne Atchison presents the U.S. Army Scholar Athlete Award to Hope Christian School graduates Ben Nafe, center, and Brooke Machen, right, during the school's graduation on May 24. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The members of the Hope Christian School class of 2012 must step out with courage and trust their faith as they move onto the next step in their lives, HCS valedictorian Katie Swint told her classmates during the school’s graduation ceremony.

During the ceremony, which was held May 24 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Swint encouraged her peers to have courage “in a world full of negativity and cynicism.”

“We must boldly move forward in our lives, taking chances and standing up to our fears,” Swint said. “We can only make our dreams come true if we have the courage to take the first step.

“No matter what the world throws at us, we know our God is greater,” Swint added. “When we trust him with our lives, we will always end up where we should be.”

More than 100 HCS seniors received their diplomas during the ceremony, which drew hundreds of friends and family members.

Valedictorian Ashley Brewer praised Hope Christian’s homeschool offerings, and said she learned in many unique ways during her time as an HCS student.

“The unconventional learning methods have taught me to think outside the box in every aspect of my life,” Brewer said. “I feel blessed to have been raised in an environment where teaching methods can be formed to each individual student.”

Valedictorian Joshua Wells said the ceremony marked the “huge investment of others in (the students’) lives.”

“This is not an end, but a beginning,” Wells said. “I still hold this hope that these seniors here before me are the change in the world. No matter what the sacrifice, no matter the call, we must live in a way that is consistent with our faith.”