FORT MOHAVE — Twenty-seven Academy of Building Industries graduates celebrated their final night as students with their graduation ceremony at Young Scholars Academy on Friday.

“We celebrate not only the graduating class of 2024, but also the endearing bond of your family, the AOBI, who have helped you along the way,” Superintendent Jean Thomas said.

The class of 2024 underwent many unique challenges, having begun freshman year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe we can all agree our class was resilient,” salutatorian Max Padilla said. “… The fact that we all made it here shows we are accomplished, hopefully more mature and that we’ve officially graduated from high school. It shows our strength, perseverance, and endurance.”

Many graduates undertook extra time and dedication to earn a two-year certificate — or even multiple — in trade-related fields, like construction or welding. The first-ever greenhouse certificate was also given out during the ceremony.

“I’m so proud of the kids who went above and beyond to do 240 hours extra to do their two-year certificate,” Thomas said.

Thomas said she was also especially proud of students who earned a community service certificate, representing hours of work giving back to the community.

Three students were honored for completing the Fire Academy, which essentially will allow them to become skilled firefighters upon graduation.

Valedictorian Hannah Walker crossed the stage multiple times to accept multiple certificates and scholarships, proving excellence can thrive despite adversity.

“There may have been struggles and difficulties, but we powered through it to be here today. During this time we’ve had family and friends who have supported us … They are the people in your life who help you up when you fall down,” Walker said.

Guest speaker Dr. Thomas Dallman, a notable doctor and board member of multiple service organization boards, urged the graduates to find their passion in life.

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