Three high school graduates, one college graduate, two more college graduations to go and I can’t forget graduate school

joshJosh graduated from high school yesterday.  In many ways the actual ceremony is anti-climatic. Yet over the last few months there is no doubt that Josh realizes that he is leaving the first chapter of his first 18 years and moving on to the next.  Over the last week we have seen the senior projects at the school, been to the senior family dinner and graduation.   It is our third time around attending these events with different families and kids but the culture of the school is what really stands out.

The seniors made a movie that we got to watch at the dinner.  Everyone from the class was in it.  They talked about how glad they were to finish high school and move on to the next stage of their life, they talked about the friends that they made there.  What was the most interesting part of the movie is that they asked each student to describe the school in a few words.  The one word that pretty much every student used was diversity.  Diversity runs deep at every turn.  Black, hispanic, trans-gender, gay, straight, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, scientists, mathematicians, movie makers, choreographers, musicians and artists.  There is someone literally from every walk of life.  It is a true microcosm of NYC.  It is a rare place. The school designates 25% of its operating budget to financial aid so that accounts for a whole other level of financial diversity.  The school celebrates each student for who they are, pushes them to ask questions and challenge authority and more important makes each student feel no matter who they are that they are unique, amazing and important. Our kids each had different experiences there as they should.  It is a place that I am pretty sure they will never find or experience again.

At graduation each year, the class picks a teacher to speak about them on their behalf.  This year they chose the art teacher who began his high school teaching career with this class.  The first time he taught in the school was when some of these kids were in 5th grade so in many ways he grew up with all of them.  He gave the class some words of wisdom that I thought were spot on. You should have a plan but be open to change and embrace happy accidents.  He also said to put yourself in uncomfortable places.  You can’t grow unless you push yourself into places that are not comfortable.  As someone who spends all day with entrepreneurs I can attest to the fact that the best entrepreneurs do both of those things.  They embrace change and they push themselves into areas that they never thought they would go.

We celebrated the day at a dinner party with Josh’s side kick, Max who has been in his life from the time he was in kindergarten and his family.  I am almost as proud of Max as I am of Josh as he has been a constant in our lives and our family as far I can remember.  I am quite confident he will always be a part of Josh’s life and ours.  It was a real celebration.  Bittersweet on one hand but victorious on the other.  A time to reflect and a time to get excited about the next stage of our life.

Bravo to the graduating class of 2014.   And yes that is a picture of Josh, the last graduate (Wilson), taking a selfie of himself before walking off the stage.  A huge milestone.

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    Totally bittersweet. Congrats on getting them through. In four more years you get an automatic raise.

    1. Gotham Gal

      lol. true true.

      1. bsoist

        got that right. we got a huge raise when Billy graduated a couple weeks ago. :)Congratulations to Josh! and mom and dad!

  2. jonathanc

    Congrats. The diversity + acceptance of everyone for who they are is what we loved about LREI. It is a hard act to follow, but in a good way.

  3. awaldstein

    The largest change about diversity in my life is that diversity has become an inclusive culture experience–accepting and inviting.Me in high school where everything was either closeted or even the groups (athletes, stoners, et al) were all exclusive and separate in a West Side Story type of reality (without the singing!)The world is a much better place. Transparency and the web has a lot to do with this.

  4. William Mougayar

    Indeed, graduations are a big deal and an important milestone to thrive for.

  5. Sunchowder

    Congrats!!! How wonderful for you and Josh 🙂 Sounds like a fabulous school, your kids have the most amazing Mom. XO

  6. takingpitches

    Graduation selfie – how cool!

  7. CCjudy

    Is he staying in NYC for college?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Nope. No one was allowed to apply to go to college in NYC. Leave your comfort zone

      1. pointsnfigures

        Could’ve gone south. Pretty women and sweet tea.

      2. AG

        Love that!

  8. bsoist

    embrace happy accidentsexcellent advice!

  9. Dan Wick

    Great post. Sounds like great teachers at their school. And congrats to Josh.

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks Dan.

  10. johndodds

    I also like the art teacher’s advice – I could have done with something like that myself, but in the UK we don’t have school graduation which might explain why I didn’t attend either of my subsequent graduations.

  11. Shripriya

    Congratulations, Josh! And to you guys. That’s big – they are all out of the house. Wow.