What does it mean to finish?
The Project Rise Finishing Ceremony marks the end of a yearlong commitment to change. Each participant who is here today began last February with the aim of making changes in their lives. Every person sitting here kept their goals in sight and finished what they started.
Some received their GED’s, other improved their reading and math scores, some finished an internship and gained work experience, others became employed, and some participants applied and began college. Those are the goals that are easy to track and highlight. What’s not easy to see are the small changes that occurred every day—the kinds of changes only our team and maybe friends and family noticed.
Young people who learned to be on time and accountable to someone else. Who handled personal issues with grace and maturity, instead of self-destruction. Who made new friendships and let go of old ones that held them down. Who overcame obstacles and changed their life’s direction for the better. Who, despite everything going wrong, remained committed and engaged—which is the greatest accomplishment of them all.
Today we celebrate the hardest part of stating something new, we celebrate finishing…
Congratulations, Project Rise Cohort 4!
-Dina LiMandri, Project Rise Associate Director