Half dozen Baltimore teens get “fresh start” on graduation day

November 2, 2017

WBAL TV-11 BALTIMORE, November 1, 2017— Graduation day came for almost a dozen African-American Baltimore teenagers Wednesday through the Fresh Start program as part of the Living Classroom Foundation.

Before joining the Fresh Start program, Kevin Brown, Rasheed Knight, Kaheel Lambert, Kentwion Rawlings and Donald Wilson were all high school dropouts, and some had been in trouble with the law.

Now, the boys are all high school graduates, and have completed the structured program designed to improve their academic and job skills, as well as self-esteem. At their graduation Wednesday, each of them had a story to tell.

“[This moment feels] very refreshing. A brand new start. Getting ready for the real world,” Lambert said.

“When you first start to do good things, you got hurdles and hops. But, this right here feels like I made it over all of them. All of the important ones, anyway,” Rawlings said.

“I probably been at like, eight different Baltimore City high schools, and I find a place where I could actually learn and do better. It feel good,” said Wilson.

On graduation day, much of the credit went to the Fresh Start program, volunteers and family members.

“Every time somebody pass their GED test, get their high school diploma, get a job – that is hope,” said program manager director Cheryl Riviere.

“Growing up in Baltimore City, getting counted out, you are going through a struggle. So, just to be here and finally make it, I’m proud of myself, man,” said Knight.

Pride, they believe, that is paving the way toward progress.

“Now I’m thinking about college, a job, my career, a family. This was a jump start to the life I never knew I had,” Brown said.

It is a life that is now filled with hope and endless possibilities.

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