Vidalia grads feel life in the moment

Published 12:06 am Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hodges Crumb didn’t feel like a graduate until about an hour before walking down the center aisle at the Vidalia Conference Center.

Crumb, a member of the 2010 graduating class of Vidalia High School, said it wasn’t until he put on the blue graduation robe that the feelings of graduation became real.

“This means the 12 years of work was worth it,” he said. “It is finally paying off.”

Crumb will attend Baton Rouge Community College in the fall, and he hopes to continue his education and study criminal justice at Southern University.

Crumb was one of the 101 graduates from Vidalia High School.

He said he was thankful his high school career was at Vidalia, where he believed he learned needed skills like hard work and determination necessary to be successful.

But what stands out for Crumb is the relationships he formed while at Vidalia High School.

“I’m going to remember my friends mostly and all the good times we had,” he said.

Cody Allen said graduation marked the end of a journey, and he is ready to begin the next journey in his life.

“This is the pay off for all the school years we been through,” he said. “I’m very excited.”

Allen has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and will begin training on June 28.

“I wanted to do something to serve my country and to give back,” he said.

Class salutatorian Ali Smith said while she and her classmates were the ones accepting the diplomas, it was thanks to the leadership and encouragement of others that the class was able to enjoy this milestone.

“Parents, family and friends should be proud, because without each of them we wouldn’t have made it this far,” she said.

Smith said it was because of those people that they were equipped to take the next step in their lives.

Valedictorian Josh Welch said the ceremony was the jumping off point for everyone.

“This graduation is an ending, but it is also the beginning of what we will do next,” he said. “We are young adults now. The freedom we have been looking for is now our responsibility.”