06/11/06 — Graduates embark on varied paths

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Graduates embark on varied paths

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 11, 2006 2:03 AM

ROSEWOOD -- Valedictorian Jamie Mills challenged the 120 members of Rosewood High School's Class of 2006 Friday to follow their dreams, no matter what they are.

A crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at Branch Pope football field to cheer on the class as they accepted diplomas and turned tassels.

Graduation is the first step into a new life, Jamie told her classmates. And that step comes with responsibility and accountability.

"(We are entering a new life) of more independence and freedom, where we can make more of our own decisions and one where we are forced to live with the consequences of those decisions, whether they are good or bad," she said.

Like many of those who took that step Friday, Jamie credited her parents with helping her get this far.

"Thank you for dragging me out of bed on mornings that I didn't want to go to school," she said, choking back tears that would not stop coming. "Above all, thank you for always pushing me to do more, do better, for always pushing me to be the best I can be."

She will head to N.C. State University this fall.

The Class of 2006's motto is taken from Ralph Waldo Emerson and challenged the seniors to not go where the path leads, but to go where there is no path and leave a trail.

For Sacoya Cox, her path is not clear yet.

Her proud parents, John and Lisa, say she is headed to Wayne Community College until she decides what she wants to do. She is the third, and last, Cox child to graduate. Two others are already in college.

"Our baby's coming out," her mother said proudly.

Christy Langston's grandparents, James and Mary Langston, said she's already enrolled in classes at Wayne Community College to enter the early childhood development field.

And she has experience. She is a mom.

"She loves children," said her grandmother. "We are very proud of her. She's married and has a child, and she stayed in school. That's not the easiest thing in the world."

Samantha Rhodes knows exactly what she wants to do. She plans to attend Paul Mitchell's cosmetology school in Wilson to get there.

"I love playing with people's hair, decorating it, trying to make new designs," she said. "I'm ready to start making my own money and get out there and explore my life."

For Kevin Cox, Wayne Community College is his next step.

He knows exactly what he wants to accomplish -- computer training at Wayne Community, a transfer to a four-year college and then a career in the military.

"I'm going into the Air Force and do something with computers," he said. "I don't have the eyesight to fly, but I would if I could."