Eastern Wayne High's class of 2018 is on to bigger and better things.
The graduating seniors celebrated four years of hard work Saturday, as around 220 students walked across the stage for graduation. Their friends and families surrounding them, the students gathered on the school's football field around 9 a.m. to begin the ceremony, dressed in the gold and navy emblematic of their school.
Standing in line to enter the stadium, graduate D'Angelo Greenfield reflected on his time at Eastern Wayne.
"I'm just glad to be here with my friends, and I'm just thankful for how God turned my life around and everything," he said. "This is a blessing."
Greenfield said that he has liked teaching through his whole life, and plans to get an education in that field after graduation.
Just a bit further down the line, Naomi Williams had butterflies in her stomach as the big moment drew near.
"I'm very nervous, it's a big crowd," she said with a laugh. "I don't know, it's an exciting experience."
Williams said she was thinking of her friends, and how they would be going their separate ways after graduation. For her part, Williams will attend Lenoir Community College on a volleyball scholarship, where she will play the sport and major in nursing.
Once everyone was seated and the introductions were through, salutatorian Noah Frost took the stage. He encouraged his classmates to go into the world and make it a better place.
"Going forward, our focus should be to consciously spread kindness. Kind thoughts and actions have the power to positively impact our society. Listening to our intuition and acting with a kind heart will never fail us," he said. "Wherever we go, we should strive to be the small flame that ignites the fire around us. Create a positive change. Be an inspiration to others. We know how to do this."
Valedictorian Yoseph Yan echoed those sentiments, calling on the graduates to make a positive impact on the lives of individual people.
"My dad once told me that there isn't one world, but over 7 billion worlds, because there are over 7 billion people and each person has their own unique perspective on the world. So as we start our journey, let's make it our goal to help change someone's world," he said. "Change their world for the better. And as we change people's worlds one at a time, we will slowly but surely be able to change the world on a much larger scale and make the difference we all yearn to make."
From here on out, it will be up to the grads to make that change happen.