Graduate with Honor

MarineAt Monday evenings regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting (6.10.13) a really cool thing happened that I was lucky to be a part of, even just as a witness.

Marine Private First Class, Niko Love, returned home to Worthington to receive his high school diploma from Board of Education, President, David Bressman.  PFC Love is a long-time Worthington resident and was a senior this year at Thomas Worthington High School.  He graduated from school early and missed the formal TWHS graduation because he was completing Marine boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina.  He officially graduated from boot camp on June 7th, and while on a short leave from the Corp, he traveled home to Worthington to receive his high school diploma.

The write-up in the board of education agenda says this about Niko:  “Niko Love was in Marine boot camp in South Carolina and was unable to attend his high school graduation ceremony.  He entered Thomas Worthington High School 4 years ago as a freshman and worked hard to keep up with the rigorous curriculum.  Recently he was the key guide and mentor for our Marines from World War II who were honored at our Veteran’s Day Celebration in November of 2012.  He has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House, worked at the Lutheran Social Services food bank and attended a leadership conference.  Niko enlisted in the United States Marine Corp delayed entry program June of 2012 making his commitment to serve as a United States Marine.”

After receiving his diploma from Mr. Bressman, Niko was given the microphone.  He introduced his, mom, dad, sister and grandmother who joined him up front, and commented that Thomas Worthington was much tougher than boot camp.  (He dropped 45 pounds in boot camp, so that may be debatable….)  Those in attendance gave Niko a standing ovation.

Graduating from high school is a big deal.  Choosing to serve your country is a bigger deal.  It doesn’t always work out, but last night we were able to honor a young man who has earned the small recognition he was provided.  In our official graduation ceremonies, graduates with honors wear a yellow cord.  Last night Niko graduated with honor in his dress blues.  #good man!

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