The wind threatened to whip the mortarboards off their heads, but nothing could dampen the spirits of Mojave High School's graduates.
The 145-member Class of 2012 at Hesperia's oldest continuation high school gathered on Jay Reed Field at Sultana High School on May 17 with hundreds of family and friends sitting in the stands, watching.
"They have exemplified courage and determination, often in the face of failure, often in the face of a lack of recognition," principal Nate Lamden said. "Your actions will never be for naught."
Like its sister school, Canyon Ridge, Mojave High School educates students for whom traditional high schools were a bad fit.
"Mojave High isn't just another school; this school was the only school that was enjoyable," student Holly Bohanon said. "When I arrived I would have been happy to have Mojave fall off the face of the Earth."
Other graduates had similarly little faith in Mojave when they first arrived.
"I thought it was just going to be something temporary before I dropped out and got my GED (certificate) but soon I realized something completely different," student Cody Shelton said. "I feel that without the constant support of Mojave High staff, my family and friends, I would not have made it to where I'm at today."
The school helped graduates overcome obstacles that prevented them from succeeding at other schools.
"I came to Mojave knowing this was my last hope to graduate on time," student Karina Whitten said. "Class of 2012, we have all been in a rut, but remember: We got out of it and proved to everyone and ourselves that we can get through anything."
The graduation ceremony was the 25th since the school's opening.
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.