Since preschool, the LightHouse has been part of SirDetrick’s life.
He is one of 15 LightHouse seniors who will walk the graduation stage at the Convention Center this week, and carry the lessons learned to college and careers.
“They taught me morals, and values and how to conduct myself,” he said.
He particularly remembers how the LightHouse took him on field trips and exposed him to new opportunities and connected him with staff, who always provided encouragement. This week, the staff and volunteer scholarship committee took one more chance to share some advice at the annual senior lunch:
“Be true to yourself.”
“Don’t expect anyone to do more for you than you would do for yourself.”
“Sit in the front.”
“Try something new.”
Each of the graduates has a plan for college or technical training with career goals ranging from firefighting to accounting to pharmacy.
Derrick shared a story of how the LightHouse helped shape his plan. Originally, he wanted to be a welder. But Teen Club coordinator Britney Waters encouraged him to have some options. He will enroll in LSUS in the fall to pursue a degree in business, with the thought that someday he might own his own piece of the construction business.
If it wasn’t for the LightHouse, Aaliyah said she would have spent most of her high school years sitting at home and just hanging out since her mom works two jobs. Instead, she volunteered, got help with her homework and developed a plan that will take her to either NSU or Southern in the fall.
Many of the seniors will stay with the LightHouse as employees over the summer, helping with the younger children in the summer program. To them, SirDetrick passed on the advice he learned: “Work hard and graduate.”