DSC 7901

Graduation Among Friends

Kloosterman family Jonathan enjoyed celebrating his graduation surrounded by family and friends.

“If you had told me 20 years ago that my son would graduate from high school, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Bob Kloosterman shakes his head in amazement.  His son, Jonathan, graduated from South Christian High School (Grand Rapids, MI) this past spring.

“When we enrolled Jonathan at Dutton Christian School (Caledonia, MI) all those years ago, we didn’t know what to expect.  It was all so new,” he recalls.

“But we saw almost immediately that we didn’t have to worry.  Someone was going to watch out for him.  And his teachers have done a really wonderful job.”

For most students with disabilities, graduation is a very big deal.  And for someone as social as Jonathan, it was extra meaningful to walk across the stage with his classmates.  South Christian offers a certificate of completion, which serves to verify that students have completed goals within an alternative track of study throughout high school.
“I really liked walking down the aisle at graduation with my friends and getting my diploma,” shares Jonathan.  “But I was a little nervous.”

“He was nervous about the graduation ceremony, but the person before or after him helped make sure it went smoothly.  That’s the kind of thing that’s really special to me,” admits Bob.
“When I was that age, my generation was not always so accepting and nice to kids with disabilities.  But I can’t remember anything negative from his entire school experience.”

Congratulations to Jonathan and his peers on their graduation and best wishes on their next steps in life!

Elizabeth Dombrowski photoElizabeth Lucas Dombrowski is the advancement director at All Belong.