Graduates from Robert Janss High School (RJS) at North Idaho Correctional Institution Thursday, July 5, included two students who earned their high school diplomas and seventeen who received their G.E.D. certificates. The two high school students wore caps and gowns and spoke at the graduation ceremony. Emmett Wilson, a teacher at RJS, was the guest speaker. He jokingly referred to them as the valedictorian and salutatorian of their graduating class. Many of the G.E.D. students also spoke with emotion, expressing gratitude for the chance to make the changes they are making in their lives at N.I.C.I. and thanking their teachers, teacher assistants, and tutors for helping them through their studies.
Four of the G.E.D. students graduated with honors and received special certificates from Lewis-Clark State College for earning composite scores of more than 3000 points on the five tests. One student also received special recognition for earning a perfect score of 800 on the Social Studies test.
Mr. Wilson gave graduates words of wisdom about persevering to meet their goals. He told them to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams, not to follow other people but to listen to their own hearts, and to learn to laugh at themselves. His message was that with courage, determination and confidence, they could do the things they love and still support themselves and their families. He told them that if they followed his advice, they too would be tough enough to wear a pink shirt (as he was wearing)!