'It's been a little difficult': MPS students reflect on their senior year as they graduate

More than 3,400 seniors graduated from MPS this spring
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:29:12-04

MILWAUKEE — It's a moment students look forward to, dreamed about and worked relentlessly for. And after a tough year with virtual learning, seniors finally got to celebrate their success.

More than 3,400 Milwaukee Public Schools seniors graduated from high school this spring.

At the Panther Arena, Milwaukee Marshall High School and Riverside University High School students walked across the stage to get their diplomas.

Marshall High School graduate Kavina Spinks said it was a tough year not being in class to get direct help, but that did not stop her from earning a 5.0 weighted GPA this year.

"Even though it was hard, don't give up, because I felt like I wanted to give up, but I just had to keep pushing," Spinks said.

Marshall High School Graduate Kavina Spinks with her family
Marshall High School Graduate Kavina Spinks with her family

With her family by her side, her father James Spinks said they continued to push her to the finish line because they knew she was more than capable.

He said obtaining a high school diploma is crucial to becoming successful.

Many students say it was their families' support that helped along the way, especially during the pandemic.

For Marshall High School Graduate Tayvion Johnson, he had a rough couple of years after his mother passed away from cancer, but he still wanted to make her proud.

Marshall High School Graduate Tayvion Johnson with his family
Marshall High School Graduate Tayvion Johnson with his family

His aunt, Jeametta McBride, came all the way from Minnesota to witness her nephew walk across the stage.

"I know his mom is so proud of all of us here to support him and we're so proud of him for walking," McBride said.

Riverside University Co-Valedictorian Joshua Wilder also spoke about how his final year went.

"It's been a little difficult just keeping up communication with teachers and other staff and working extremely hard to navigate the virtual setting," Wilder said.

Riverside University High School Principal Jeffrey Lasky said he is proud of all the graduates for not giving up.

"They are ready for the world, and I know they're going to do great things," Lasky smiled.

For each graduate, that means they will be taking different paths towards success.

Kavina Spinks will be attending Bradley University, majoring in photography and running for their Division 1 track team.

Tayvion Johnson will be going to trade school to become an engineer.

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