Robinson School held its Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2016 on Friday, May 20, 2016. The religious service was dedicated to empowering the Class of 2016 as our graduates end this chapter of their lives and begin a new one.
Robinson Chaplain, Rosangélica Acevedo, described this as an “empowerment ceremony” in which students, parents, teachers and Robinson School all give thanks for the blessings that have culminated in graduation. She described these blessings as a round, three-legged table. The three legs symbolize our school, students and parents. All worked together to provide the table with the support and stability needed to bear the weight of the challenges faced during high school. Graduates were successful in overcoming all obstacles and, thus, reach graduation. In this ceremony, the three legs also symbolize the Holy Trinity—the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost—without whose spiritual support the burdens students, parents and teachers face are harder to bear and who lifted the Class of 2016 up to this crowning achievement.
During Call to Worship, led by María Hernández, graduates stood and asked for strength and guidance as they face the exciting (and sometimes daunting) challenges to come. They also recognized how much they will need each other and that sense of community they share with each other and Robinson to pursue their dreams. They also asked for help in not losing sight of their purpose in life. Parents, family and friends acknowledged how quickly time had passed, and asked the Lord to continue serving as examples, caregivers and models of perseverance and integrity for graduates. Teachers attested to having completed their jobs successfully, asking that graduates believe in themselves as gifted individuals who will contribute to a world that needs them dearly.
Class of 2016 graduates, Camila Pagán and Nicole Flores, dedicated the Baccalaureate service to Vanessa Vargas, who teaches Mathematics in the Pathways Program, for her dedication and commitment to students. They also dedicated the service to all the teachers who helped make their graduation possible through their years of diligent attention and service.
After Allen Cohen read Proverbs 3:1-6 from the Old Testament and teacher Pilar Oliver performed the song “A Heavenly Place,” Ryoko Skelton read from the New Testament, 2 Peter 1:5-8.
Zorahis Reyes, wife of our Spiritual Life Teacher Humberto Álvarez and a spiritual leader in her own right, gave the Baccalaureate address. She used the story of Biblical tale of David and Goliath—with its powerful message of how the seemingly weak can triumph over even the strongest giants—to empower graduates to never run from a challenge, no matter how daunting it may seem. They have everything they need to successfully overcome any challenge they face.
Robinson’s Spiritual Life teacher, Elba Rodríguez performed the “Good, Good Father” about how we are all made perfect through the love we give and receive. Then, Rev. Brunilda Morales, Rev. Brad Holloway, Rev. Félix Rivera, Rev. María Torres, Rev. Humberto Pizarro and our Chaplain, Rosangélica Acevedo, blessed each graduate with an Empowerment Prayer by asking the Lord to enrich the graduate with His grace and give them strength for the tasks that lie ahead. Graduates were then asked to receive the Lord’s promise, so they may reach their goals and show the world that anything is possible. Included in the blessing was the graduate’s name and the institution they will be attending after leaving Robinson. Each graduate knelt down before the Reverend with their parents standing by them as they received the blessing. A stole was placed over each graduate’s shoulders to symbolize their empowerment by God and His constant protection as they leave Robinson to meet their destiny.
We are so proud of the graduating Class of 2016! The Baccalaureate Service was a powerful and moving ceremony to send our graduates out into their futures armed with more than the academic and social tools they’ll need. This service reminded them that they also have the full spiritual force of Robinson School, which will always be there to remind them of how strong they are and what they are capable of achieving with humility and the grace of God.