The Magic of Lakeside Graduations

Lakeside’s schools and academies conclude the school year with 4 different graduations. Lakeside’s Girls Academy, Upper Merion Vantage Academy, Souderton Vantage Academy, and Lakeside School all have their own graduation and awards ceremonies. Each program has its distinctive ceremony that is contextual to the students within their specific programs.

For most of our students, their forecast for graduation was rather bleak when they entered our schools. Most were struggling academically, had significant mental health struggles, were fighting some form of addiction, had a history of adversity and/or trauma, and were sent to a Lakeside program to receive a last chance effort to overcome their obstacles and hopefully finish their high school career successfully.

Since their academic prognosis was so poor, many had little hope they would see the reality of their own high school diploma. Yet through the compassion of our dedicated staff, quality clinical care, caring and talented teachers, and programs that are structured specifically to meet their needs, they were able to celebrate their achievements with their families, our staff, and their friends. 

We hear the speeches where students describe their journey that began with anger, lack of trust, and hopelessness. Through the environment and processes that surrounded them within our programs, they began to trust, strive for, and eventually find success personally and academically. Our staff affirms to the attendees their pride in the efforts and growth of our students. They acknowledge the struggles and resilience that has always been there in their lives, and for many, they can also showcase the new growth and success that has been acquired. For many of our students it is the first time they have experienced such affirmation, growth, and achievement. There is a palpable energy of positive impact and optimism that is incredibly gratifying for us all. What a set of amazing moments!

Students who had little hope for their future are completing their high school education and are celebrating a huge victory in their lives. I have the opportunity to attend all of our graduations. It is one of the most heartwarming moments watching our students embrace their families along with our staff as they have traveled such a difficult journey together to get to this celebrated moment of the culmination of their work together. It makes all of our efforts feel so very worthwhile at Lakeside. The impact that we all have in the lives of our students is the ultimate in humble gratification.

We celebrate them and our staff in this graduation season!

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