A breath of youthful fresh air was shown this week in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As residents in the Foothills continue to struggle with physical distancing, a slumping economy and concerns of the future, a ray of sunshine was provided at various grad ceremonies last week and with an Okotoks tradition celebrating the community’s youth efforts.
Graduates at Holy Trinity Academy and Oilfields High School in Black Diamond celebrated their big day last week — putting an end to a weird school year in which their final months of school, class was at home.
At Holy Trinity Academy there were a whopping 15 graduates with a Grade 12 average of more than 95 per cent.
The eventual valedictorian — Marian Grell — had a 99 per cent average.
Grell gave an inspiring speech, which had to be pre-recorded and presented virtually due to COVID-19, in which she stated the past three months, kept the grads apart, but they became stronger through this ordeal.
“What it serves is a reminder that we can overcome anything together,” Grell stated.
It’s a message all can consider.
Meanwhile the Leaders of Tomorrow officially announced its recipients for 2020 — the 25th year for the ceremony.
The program recognizes the achievements young people have made over the year.
One of the recipients was Hannahlyn Clifford who is nearly non-verbal due to cerebral palsy.
Oh, yeah, she is also in Grade 2.
Through it all, Clifford has been able to pack backpacks with supplies for the homeless, pick up litter in the community and make Okotoks a better place to live. These are rough times, but the Class of 2020 and the efforts of young people is an indication the Leaders of Tomorrow are coming on strong.