FAIRFIELD — A group of high school seniors – decked out Sunday in their caps and gowns – celebrated graduation a little early.
About 25 women walked in procession at St. Stephen CME Church after receiving scholarships from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The Tau Upsilon Omega Chapter hosted its 23rd annual baccalaureate ceremony to honor the group for their community service, academics and good character.
Guest speaker Ruthie Bolton, the girls basketball coach at Vacaville Christian School, encouraged the scholarship recipients to follow their own paths. Bolton said she had been told that she couldn’t play basketball, but went on to play with the U.S. women’s basketball team at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.
“Grasp your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it,” she said.
Fairfield High School senior Ebony Hughes played basketball and volleyball and ran track for the Falcons. She said she could relate to Bolton’s story.
“(It’s) kind of the same predicament,” she said. “They told me that I was not fast and wasn’t good.”
Hughes, who is interested in medicine, plans to attend Diablo Valley College and join the U.S. Air Force. The 19-year-old said leaving high school is “bittersweet” and she will miss “all the moments and . . . friends.”
Rodriguez High School senior Delia Fuller, a friend of Hughes and a fellow scholarship recipient, plans to traverse the country for her education. The 18-year-old will attend Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
“I wanted to get a better experience,” she said. “I have close family out there.”
Earline Murray, president of the Tau Upsilon Omega Chapter, had some advice to share before closing the day’s ceremony.
“Never get it twisted,” she said. “Nothing you have is because of luck and chance. It’s because of God’s grace that you have what you have.”
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.