First ASPIRE Academy class graduates |

First ASPIRE Academy class graduates

The first class of students to graduate from the ASPIRE Academy enjoyed their graduation ceremony in Nevada's first town on Thursday.

In all, 28 students received diplomas as more than 200 friends and family members took pictures and cheered them on at the ceremony held at Genoa Lakes.

"We all come from different backgrounds, but we're all here for the same thing," 16-year-old Valedictorian Christian Eckert said. "To prove that we can achieve our goals."

Principal Miki Trujillo told the students they achieved so much by making it to graduation.

"You are crossing the stage as young people with integrity," Trujillo said. "They say integrity is beauty, and you are all beautiful. Many students spoke of how Aspire helped them, but it was not Aspire, it was you. You now know you don't have to stay down. You know how to get what you want out of the future, you can determine your own future by aspiring never to give up."

"Don't stop now," she said. "It's not the destination of expectations but the journey. This graduation day, I want you to remember we will always be here. We will always be a family and stick together."

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ASPIRE graduates Yoana Gutierrez, Eckert and Austin Winberg received $1,000 scholarships from Genoa Lakes managing partners Fred and Marla Gartrell, who hosted the graduation.

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