PHOTO GALLERY: Ferriday High School celebrates Class of 2024 Graduation

Published 8:53 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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FERRIDAY, La. — Nearly 60 students at Ferriday High School received their diplomas on Thursday evening and now prepare for the next chapter of their lives.

Many of these students will not be doing so empty-handed.

“In total, this senior class amassed $516,922 in scholarships,” said Iyna Barnes, Dean of Students at FHS.

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Valedictorian K’Aliya Morton is the recipient of $50,000 from the University of Kentucky Blue Grass Spirit Scholarship and $40,000 from the Williams C. Parker Scholarship.

“I am filled with an abundance of emotions — mostly nervousness,” Morton said as she delivered her valedictory speech.

She thanked the “dedicated teachers, counselors, and mentors who have played pivotal roles in shaping our academic journey” — Mrs. Williams, Miss. Watts and Mrs. Hughes — “Your passion for teaching, your guidance, your generosity, and your firm belief in our potential have instilled in us the skills and knowledge to take on life and fulfill our dreams.”

Next, she thanked classmates and close friends, “Even to the ones that we’ve lost along the way, Jakeress Hawkins, rest in peace. Together, we’ve gone through a great deal of challenges, and successes, and found our strength. We’ve shaped unforgettable memories that will continue to bring us back together in all walks of life, even if we physically never see each other again.”

Morton described the bittersweetness of leaving friends behind to pursue their lives apart, “solidifying our futures as, doctors, nurses, lawyers, welders and whatever else dreams that any of us have conjured up and want to accomplish. This is only the beginning for us, even if your future is not planned out yet, the night is still young.”

Morton’s future, she said, starts at the University of Kentucky where she will study Biology and work toward becoming a dermatologist.

Lastly, she thanked parents, family members and anyone else who has supported herself and her classmates through the years.

“As the year comes to a close, I hope we will not forget the path that we have trekked all the way here. … Even as we reminisce about the start of it all, it is important that we look to the future and embark on our upcoming journeys and battles and embrace the new memories we will make.”