06/10/12 — Eastern Wayne graduates making big plans

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Eastern Wayne graduates making big plans

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on June 10, 2012 1:50 AM

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Angeline Cannon hugs her son, Joseph, moments after he graduated from Eastern Wayne High School, happy that the challenges that had been hard for them all had finally been overcome.

Angeline Cannon and David Murchison often wondered over the course of four years of high school if their mischief-making son would walk across the stage to get his diploma.

But Joseph overcame the many obstacles that were placed in his path and turned his tassel along with 239 other Eastern Wayne High School graduates Saturday morning.

"It feels great to be graduated," Joseph said. "I had a lot of challenges, and now I'm happy."

The new graduate will go to Wayne Community College for a year to learn welding. Then he will attend South Carolina State where he will study music technology.

"I want to be a music teacher, a welder and a music director," he said. "Welding and music technology don't really go together, but if an instrument like a tuba or something breaks, I can fix it. Plus a welder makes some good money."

Dad David Murchison said the world is now his son's oyster.

"He's been through some ups and downs and some tough times, but he persevered and came through," David said. "He's ready to get out there into the world already. He's got a lot of game plans going on, and we're so proud of him."

His mother, Angeline Cannon, was so proud of her son that she grabbed onto him and wouldn't let go for a while.

"It was a hard road for all of us, but he made it," she said.

All of the graduates were glad they made it, too.

Valedictorian Cailey Anne Soloman told her fellow classmates that, "No one can tell us how to live, how to speak or how to simply exist except ourselves. We need to do some self-evaluation in order to determine where we stand in accordance with others. We need to have confidence in who we are, inside and out.

"Then we can be able to guide our lives toward speeding our success. We become individuals. Adults. Distinctive, unique beings. We begin to personify our personal definition of what 'living' is."

Tre'vis Lee faced many challenges during his four years of high school, like school work, teachers and rules, but overcame them all to graduate.

"I'm so happy I made it that I'm at a loss for words," he said.

And now Tre'vis is ready to go to Pitt Community College to take some business courses. But his ultimate goal in life is to be an actor, a singer or some other famous person.

For his fellow classmate, Jake May, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, just getting through each day up to graduation was a battle. But he, too, made it.

"I always had my classmates there with me pushing me on," Jake said. "Today made it all worth it."

And he hopes his struggles with a deadly disease might inspire others who will come after him to know that they, too, can make it.

Marques McPhail knows how hard work pays off as he left the school campus one last time at graduation, on his way to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study political science and then go to law school. He was a Gates Scholar.

For most of the graduates, it was a bittersweet experience.

Lexus Durham was sad and said she didn't want to leave her classmates, as did Domynique Marrero, who said they'd all be OK. Alexis Lamie plans to keep in touch with her best friends, though.