“You made it to make it right for the next generation.” That was the message Pathways to Success Academic Campus Dean Shaenu Micou shared with the class of 2021 at last night’s Commencement Ceremony. Micou offered the words as congratulations and a challenge to the 39 Pathways graduates.
Micou highlighted that this year’s Pathways graduates follow generations of people that have overcome the oppression of unadulterated evil. He highlighted that in addition to the oppression that’s faced people for generations, the class of 2021 faced the obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic hitting as they were finishing their junior year and the hate, violence and social unrest of our deeply divided country.
While Micou honored the graduates for overcoming the obstacles to reach graduation, he shared their work isn’t done yet. “Your race isn’t over, you have a moral and spiritual obligation to run the baton of freedom to the next generation,” Micou said. “The onus is now on you to make things right for the generations ahead of you. So, take all that you have you received, take all you know, take all of your passion, your grit, your grind, your resiliency, take all of your love and work to make things better for all the people coming after you. Pathways to Success Class of 2021, you made it, go and pass the baton.”
The passion, grit and resiliency of the Pathways Class of 2021 was on display throughout the Commencement Ceremony through students sharing their experiences and offering thanks. Class speakers included Staci Lincoln, Quinyce Hinton, Aaliyah Goins, Aidan Fulgenzi and Ky Rah Tate sharing the poetry of Maya Angelou. The students talked about overcoming obstacles, growing stronger, and finding their future at Pathways thanks to the caring staff that treat students like family.
Staci Lincoln highlighted the support the Pathways team offers students, while at the same time pushing them to success. “As I graduate I want to focus on things that have value, I want to stay on the straight path and do more than the bare minimum,” Lincoln said. “I want to create generational wealth for my family. It’s not going to be easy but it is achievable, if I focus and put my plan together I know I can get a lot, and I have a bright future.”
During the ceremony, Pathways presented the Dean’s Distinguished Honors Award to Aidan Fulgenzi and Quinyce Hinton.
Over $19,000 in scholarships was awarded to Pathways graduates including:
Meyers Scholarship – Madeline King
Lester Scholarship – Ronnie Gray and Staci Lincoln
Pearson- Quinyce Hinton
Dybdahl Scholarship Atyia McDonald
STRIVE Scholarships (Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education thanks to the Ann Arbor Rotary Club)