The 16 students who received their diplomas at Saturday afternoon’s home school graduation ceremony, like all graduates, are bound to make some mistakes as they embark on their next phase of life. But those who listened to commencement speaker Retired U.S. Army Reserves Lt. Col. John Hornberger might make a few less, simply by observing the people around them.
“It’s been said wise people learn from their mistakes,” Hornberger said. “Really wise people learn from the mistakes of others.”
Saturday afternoon’s S.H.A.R.E. (Support Homeschool Activities Reaching Everyone) graduation ceremony at The Church at Bradenton brought together 16 students and their families who earned their high school diploma through S.H.A.R.E. The organization began in 1991 and provides home school support and programs for more than 780 families in Manatee, Sarasota and the surrounding counties.
Graduates Angela Stewart and Emily Elmore addressed their classmates, encouraging them to be bold as they move on from high school, but to be humble enough to know when they need support.
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“Remember, it’s a transition, not a free fall,” Stewart told her fellow graduates. “It’s OK to ask for help.”
Hornberger commended the students for the intellect they had attained during their 13 years of school, but he challenged them to not forfeit wisdom in the pursuit of intellect. Using the example of rock musician Jim Morrison, who died at 27, Hornberger drew a distinction between the knowledge found in a textbook and the ability to make good choices.
“What’s the difference between intellect and wisdom?” Hornberger said. “Intellect will help you earn a living. Wisdom will teach you how to live.”
S.H.A.R.E. (Support Homeschool Activities Reaching Everyone) Class of 2017 Graduation Ceremony
Speakers: Retired U.S. Army Reserves Lt. Col. John Hornberger, Pastor Jim Glass, S.H.A.R.E. coordinator Debbie Dykes, student speakers Angela Stewart and Emily Elmore.
Graduating class: 18th
Number of graduates: 16
Shining moment: Mallory Hornberger performed a sign-language rendition of the song, “Do I make you proud?” by Taylor Hicks. As she sat down, Dykes called out her answer to the question posed in the song. “Yes! Yes you do,” Dykes said.
Interesting fact: The importance of service was emphasized through speaker remarks and the students’ stated goals in the ceremony’s program. Several students said they hoped to go into ministry, to care for their future children or to help other people.
Quote: “We challenge them to be the light of the world, that the light would shine before others that they would see and glorify God,” said Maria Todd, the mother of graduate Zachary Todd, during her prayer for the graduates.