"Be a shining light to those around you," said Palmetto Police Chief Rick Wells as he addressed juveniles dressed in brightly colored sweats Tuesday.
The Palmetto Youth Academy, a residential program for high-risk juveniles, held a spring commencement ceremony for three young men who completed their GED requirements and received diplomas.
All students, faculty members and members of the Community Advisory Board listened as speakers addressed the group before the graduates gave their own short, upbeat speeches wearing traditional caps and gowns. Though their tassels read 2012 the grads wore them proudly.
Three more young men, bringing the total graduate count to six, had already received diplomas and were released from the facility shortly before the ceremony.
The young residents and graduates cannot be identified.