The 80 students graduating from Lancaster Mennonite on Saturday morning faced plenty of hardships over the 2020-21 school year. However, they always had words of reassurance whenever they needed them.
“We are clothed in strength and dignity. We laugh without fear of the future,” reads Proverbs 31:25, the motto for the Class of 2021.
It was a very fitting verse given the uncertainty of the past school year.
Three seniors from the graduating class — Chloe Elie, Eden Addisu and Isaac Kraenbring — presented their speeches at the senior dedication, which was held Friday evening.
“When we leave this school tomorrow, we are all going to go out into the world and do different things, but what I want each and every one of you to realize is that every problem has a solution, it just needs one person to find it and fix it,” Elie said.
“As I look back at my time at LMH, through learning about many inspirational figures and interacting with those who are changing the world, one thing I’ve noticed all these people who are continuously changing the world share is their drive to love, their ability to take leaps of faith, and their determination to persevere,” Addisu said.
“Many of us are experiencing one of those complex emotions right now: the joy in sadness. We are joyful because we are graduating. We just completed 12 years of school, and we are now getting a piece of paper to prove it. We are sad because we just completed 12 years of school and now have to leave behind a very formative place,” Kraenbring said.
Hyacinth Stevens, the commencement speaker, encouraged the graduating class to be “unhinged, untied and ready.” Stevens works for Mennonite Central Committee as the New York program director, and held virtual chapels over the school year.
“I want to encourage you as you continue on the path that has been formed for you and that you are forming now,” Stevens said.
Lancaster Mennonite Principal Michael Charles addressed the Class of 2021, highlighting the theme of world changers.
“Yours is a historic graduating class, and you will forever remember and share that your junior and senior years took place during a global pandemic,” Charles said. “Nurture curiosity and creativity. Empower lifelong learning. And then together you will change the world. Congratulations, Class of 2021.”