Crossroads students graduate to much pomp and considerable circumstance

Overcoming obstacles, abandoning destructive behaviors and dedicating themselves to learn and grow, some five dozen Crossroads Alternative High School seniors earned their graduation certificates.CrossroadsGraduates

The graduates’ commencement ceremony took place at Anoka High School’s auditorium May 30.

“Alternative education has been a life-saving, life-changing thing for us,” said graduating senior Amy Anderson, welcoming friends and family to the commencement. “We have overcome many obstacles to achieve graduation tonight.”

Brittney Frei, one of three class speakers, said that Crossroads was literally a life-saver for her.

“When I came to Crossroads I had lost my way in life,” she said. “I was not even sure I wanted life, everything seemed to be crumbling around me.”

But she said the Crossroads family embraced her, showed her the beauty within and taught her the most important lesson of her life: put one foot in front of the other and never give up.

“The people at Crossroads helped me believe I could be successful. They helped fix the broken me,” Frei said.

Fellow graduate and class speaker Gerardo Fernandez-Zamora urged classmates to “remember to have hope and do whatever you do with passion.”

“Act, dream and believe and you will do great things,” he said.

And then, the students received certificates of graduation and much congratulations from advisers, principals and School District 11 representatives lined up on stage to offer a handshake and a “well done.”

Five scholarships were presented during the May 30 ceremony; three from the Coon Rapids Lions Club, two from the Anoka Rotary Club and one from the Red Cross. Brittney Frei won a $1,000 scholarship from the Lions; Dana Liebrenz and Carla Norman each won a $500 scholarship from the Lions. Abiodun (AY) Ojo-Akinwale won a $500 scholarship from the Rotary club. Amanda True won a $400 scholarship – the first the Red Cross has presented to a Crossroads graduate. The scholarship was awarded to True in recognition of her blood donation and assistance with the school’s blood drive.