Ray Diamond is a member of Franklin Academy’s class of 2015. His graduation was a special moment for his extended family, as the photograph above makes clear. Ray had the high honor of giving the senior speech at graduation. I recall his speech as being the highlight of our ceremony. Here is another highlight – some good advice from Ray for current students and seniors in an email received today.

“I attended Franklin Academy for two years and graduated as a proud, dream-filled prospective college student. Those two developmentally monumental years that I spent adjusting to my quirks and differences prepared me for what was to come afterward. Just as my experience at Franklin was a journey of learning, my life since graduation has been a trek that involved living and moving between four different states, three different colleges, a 3.4 GPA, and a sea of possibilities in my immediate future. If I were to encourage or advise any soon-to-be graduates or any current students who fear the unknown of post-high school existence, I would tell them to be flexible and forgiving with themselves on their journeys; be forgiving, but also congratulate themselves on accomplishments, especially the small ones. Progress is not linear, but it is indeed rewarding and certainly impending. Success looks different for everyone.”

Ray recently finished an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice at Southern New Hampshire University. He is currently in his third year working towards a bachelor’s degree. Along the way, he has been writing a lot. Click here for access to one of Ray’s opinion pieces published last October in the Portland Press Herald (a major newspaper in southern Maine). When I asked him about journalism as a career, he was not sure. He stated, however, the desire to incorporate professional or academic writing into what he ends up doing for a living. Ray, best of luck as you pursue your passions and consider the possibilities.