August 23, 2019— Graduation is always a very special time for the YouthBuild Philly community. It serves as a time to reflect on the memories, recognize accomplishments, acknowledge the challenges, and make strides towards the future. At this year’s commencement ceremony, held at Zion Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, YouthBuild Philly celebrated 106 graduates of the Class of 2019 for their perseverance, dedication and commitment to their decision to reclaim their education. As students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, they were cheered on by an audience of more than 1000 people comprised of their families, friends, YouthBuild staff and supporters. Additionally, they were provided with words of encouragement and inspiration from best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, and recording artist MK Asante, and community mentor, leader, coach, and former YouthBuild Philly staff member of 14 years, Ameen Akbar who provided the keynote addresses.
The most memorable and heartfelt part of the ceremony was when all members of the Class of 2019 received their diplomas and were officially announced as graduates! What made that moment even more special was that the Class of 2020 applicants were there watching from the balcony, looking forward to the day that they too will walk across the stage and become #YBMade.
Congratulations to the Class of 2019! We are so proud of you.
See below for a slideshow of more photos from the Class of 2019 Commencement Ceremony: