MILWAUKEE COUNTY — Thursday marked a big day for hundreds of students across Milwaukee County as they donned their cap and gown and received a diploma.
A sunny Thursday evening set the scene for the perfect setting for graduations in Cudahy, St. Francis and South Milwaukee.
"I have a cord for Spanish honor society, for high honor roll, for student senate,” said South Milwaukee graduate Genevieve Kell.
Kell credits her math teacher for pushing her to pursue an engineering degree at UW-Madison.
"We had a really close relationship. He showed me the ropes and got me inspired,” Kell said.
Faith Kern is still considering career choices but credits her high school years and family support for her personal growth and allowing her to embrace her individuality.
“I feel like I blossomed a lot in high school because when I first came out, I was navigating how this changes my life,” Kern said.
"Her father has been in the military for 20 years and I can tell you, there has been an American flag since that flagpole has been up in this yard. And she asked her dad, for the month of June, 'can I put a Pride Flag up.' He said, 'absolutely,'" said Lisa Kern, Faith’s mother.
"The way that I was so accepted so fast and that they love me unconditionally, for me is so nice, and some kids just don't get that,” Faith Kern said.
Over at St. Francis High, TMJ4 News met Tevin Humphrey, who addressed the student body with a direct speech addressing systematic racism and eliminating hate in society.
"As John Lewis once said, 'Too many of still believe our differences define us,'" he said in the speech.
All three students are taking their own paths into the real world, but all share a common goal of helping to make the world a better place.