PHOTOS: No small accomplishment: 11 receive diplomas at First Baptist Academy's second graduation

Graduates watch the senior slide presentation during the commencement ceremony for First Baptist Academy High School on Friday in North Naples. The eleven students who received diplomas were the first four-year class to graduate from First Baptist Academy High School.

Photo by LEXEY SWALL // Buy this photo

Graduates watch the senior slide presentation during the commencement ceremony for First Baptist Academy High School on Friday in North Naples. The eleven students who received diplomas were the first four-year class to graduate from First Baptist Academy High School.

— Eleven might seem like a small number. But for First Baptist Academy, the number takes on a bigger meaning as its second ever graduating class flipped their golden tassels Friday night in their chapel.

“Live like you’re dying,” said Senior Associate Pastor Forrest Head, as he challenged the Academy’s first four-year graduating class, to make an impact and a difference in today’s society.

The tables in the lobby, full of personal items, only tell half the story of this small, yet impressive class.

As the salutatorian, Tamara Edwards, and the valedictorian, Jennifer Evans, gave their individual speeches they both had similar central messages: overcoming personal struggles, finding individual meaning and significance of their religion, and loving the people who love them.

All 11 students – eight of whom have GPAs of 3.50 or above and six of whom are in the National Honor Society - have promising futures, from becoming teachers to mission work, medical school and visual design. But no matter where they all end up, the one thing they will all have in common to fall back on is their “bond,” according to class president Daniel Head, as well as the “constant involvement” with the school. Evans echoed Daniel Head by saying the “teachers, staff and their encouragement” is something they will all miss dearly.

As one chapter of their lives ends, another begins.

“Focus on today,” said Evans.

Eleven might seem like a small number, especially for a graduating class. But, on the graduation night, they proved they will soon all make huge impacts on our society now that they are high school graduates.

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