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West Side Leadership Academy Class of 2024 Valedictorian Regan Bandy and Salutatorian Raven Anderson

West Side Leadership Academy honors 185 graduates

Contributed By: Gary Community School Corp

Class of 2024 "Ready to Make a Difference"

Gary – On Sunday, June 2, 185 graduates from West Side Leadership Academy walked across the stage in a ceremony themed "Ready to Make a Difference." The event was marked by inspiring speeches, musical performances, and heartfelt messages, making it a momentous occasion for the graduates and their families.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Brian Dinkins, shared his personal stories of educational struggles and setbacks, highlighting the importance of perseverance and resilience.

"You have to be willing to ask for help," Dr. Dinkins emphasized. "There is no standing here without the educators who commit so much of their time and make sacrifices for you."

The ceremony featured musical selections by the graduating seniors of the West Side choir, as well as an original piece by two graduates, Devin Hassan and Kayden Nelson. Additionally, Julius Kinsey recited a poignant poem, adding to the ceremony's emotional depth.

Dr. Mike Raisor, Manager of the Gary Community School Corporation, delivered special remarks, encouraging the graduates to view this milestone as just the beginning of their journeys.

"I want to give a few nuggets of encouragement. None of us do it alone. Let's thank our families and community that have supported you for the last thirteen years. Today is not the end, but the beginning. Think of this as your launchpad. Better is possible every day. It's about striving for excellence, not perfection."

Gary Mayor Eddie Melton also addressed the graduates, acknowledging their hard work and determination.

"This marks the culmination of hard work, late-night study sessions, and relentless determination," Mayor Melton stated. "You have achieved something truly remarkable and you should be immensely proud of this. Embrace the future with confidence and optimism."

Carl Scott, Principal of West Side Leadership Academy, expressed his pride and admiration for the graduating class.

"I am filled with immense pride and admiration. Each of you has gone through triumphs and challenges; growing academically and personally. You have shown resilience, creativity, and a commitment to excellence."

The graduates of the Class of 2024 have faced unique challenges in their academic journey. Their freshman year of high school was virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their perseverance and dedication have culminated in this significant achievement, inspiring future generations of scholars.

The Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) is proud to serve scholars from early childhood through high school, offering multiple academic pathways and opportunities for students to excel in STEM, performing and visual arts, sports, A/P courses, and CTE programs. With three State STEM-certified schools, GCSC is committed to providing a strong educational foundation for all students.

For more information about the Gary Community School Corporation and its programs, please visit

Story Posted:06/06/2024

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