Every year, students from all grades in our Hospital School Program participate in a graduation ceremony. Like any end-of-year convocation, there’s pomp and circumstance, smiles and tears and plenty of time to reflect on the previous year and its challenges and accomplishments.
“Graduation is important for so many reasons,” said Hem/Onc teacher Anna Balmaseda. “It’s one way we can bring an experience into the hospital that students would otherwise miss. It’s also an opportunity for us to really acknowledge the spirit and conviction of our students.”
Early in June, Doernbecher School Program Hem/Onc patients, teachers and administrators donned full graduation regalia –caps and gowns constructed by students and staff – and paraded through 10S and the outpatient clinic, then back down the hall. Patients who were unable to leave their rooms had their diplomas delivered in small, individual ceremonies.
Below, read some of our favorite excerpts from Anna’s opening remarks.
“If I had to think of one word that comes to mind to represent this student body, that word would be ‘tenacious.’ ‘Tenacious’ means that you keep a firm hold on what’s important to you. Your tenacity has been witnessed in your attendance in the classroom; we’ve seen it in your problem solving and adapting. You have been flexible without losing sight of your goals.
This is why we have such a wonderful time getting to know our thoughtful and hardworking students. It’s been an honor to come to better know your strengths and see your perseverance.
Congratulations to you all. This is your day – we’re here to celebrate you!
To the parents: We very deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with your child. We feel very fortunate to work with this group. Let’s just face it – your children are amazing!
I’d also like to acknowledge our very amazing partners in all this magic called Hospital School. We could not do this without the support of our district and medical partners.”
Learn more about the Doernbecher Hospital School Program here.