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Tim Giago: Congratulations to the class of '06

"To those of you seated before me wearing your colors of graduation, I am very proud of you. You have stuck with something to its conclusion. Although many of you have lived in poverty, oftentimes never knowing if there would be breakfast on the table or clean clothes to wear, and although many of you have tried to help your parents overcome their addictions and have had to conquer your own fears in the process, the fact that you are about to receive a diploma after 12 years of discipline, commitment, and oftentimes uncertainty, it tells me more about you as a person than about the award you are about to receive.

During these 12 years of trials and tribulations, you have seen many of your closest friends walk through those doors never to return. You have learned that 50 percent of the children that started out with you 12 years ago never stuck around to finish school. You have seen these friends working at menial jobs, driving their own cars, and even snickering at you for your commitment to getting that diploma.

As John Reynor wrote this week in the Indian Education Today Magazine, many Indian schools have joined the ranks of the “Dropout Nation.” The fact that you stood your ground against all odds and are seated here today to receive that diploma speaks volumes about your courage and determination."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: Escaping the net of the 'Dropout Nation'? (The Native American Times 5/15)

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