It isn't until you reach high school that one realizes that you will soon be making some of the biggest decisions in your life.
There are so many paths for a student to take after graduating. Many will go to college and either commute to and from or live in a dorm, others choose to join the work force till they decide what it is that they would ultimately like to do.
And others may have limitations based on a physical handicap or a new responsibility of being a teen parent.
Wendy Huertas, from her wheelchair said, "Nothing is impossible. I have overcome a huge challenge and have made friends that I never thought that I'd make. Next year I will be going into the transition program".
No matter what path it is that you choose, anything is possible with hard work and dedication.
Today's 2012 graduation took place in the high school gym with the overflow of people seated in the auditorium, where a large screen was placed up on stage for the audience to watch the ceremony live.
There were smiles, tears and lots of hugging among students, their parents and their teachers. One student, Sara Smith, sat down in the cafeteria writing a letter on her stationery to her favorite teacher, science teacher Mrs. Garrity. Smith said, "Mrs. Garrity was my favorite teacher ever because she inspired me and encouraged me to do better than I ever thought I could. I owe it all to her. She was like a second parent to me."
Yashira Mejias, a young mom to 6-month-old Yariel said, "I never missed a day of school all through my pregnancy. I've done it all alone since Yariel's father is not involved. My goal is to become a medical assistant while raising my son. I know I can do it because I've come this far. I'm so proud of myself".
Amy Plante, mom to Brittany Vanbrunt said, "I can't believe how fast these high school years have flown by. It's a happy time for our family and we are so very proud of our daughter who worked very hard throughout her school years".
Many of the students agreed that this is the next step in their lives. Graduating student Victoria Wah said, "I'm finally graduating! I am so excited about the next chapter in my life. This summer I will be working as a dietary aide at the Friendly Nursing Home and then in the fall I am enrolled at URI majoring in sociology and anthropology".
Class Valedictorian Justyna Pietrus said, "My Mom has always pushed me to do better than best. I spent much of my time studying but was also very involved in many sports and extra curricular activities including track captain, cross country running team, snow boarding, math team captain, president of the band, on the National Honor Society and member of the FBLA, which stands for the future business leaders of america. I hope to go into the medical field and will be attending Harvard in the fall".
Hailey Kadisevskis, Salutatorian, said she worked very hard and always took her education very seriously. Kadisevskis said, "I'm going to Old Dominion University in Virgina in the fall and hope to study business management. My mom owns her own business and one day I hope to do the same and maybe do a little traveling".
Many of the students decorated their graduation caps with sparkles, glitter and some crazy toys. One had an oscar award on his cap and another had a tree.
Suprintendent of Schools Giovanna Donoyan and Woonsocket High School Principal Lynne Bedard had a little chuckle when told they were looking a little like a Harry Potter character in their long decorated robes.