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Five Seniors Graduate from Hastings' Alternative School Program (HASP)

 5 HASP graduates on bench with an advisor standing behind themStudents, families, teachers, and administrators came together yesterday to celebrate five graduating seniors in the Hastings’ Alternative School Program (HASP). 

In the annual ceremony held at Reynolds Field, each graduate gave personal remarks, reflecting on the trials and tribulations of high school, and giving thanks to HASP’s system of support for helping them overcome obstacles and reach success.

HASP Director Peter Scotch and History Department Chairperson Gregory Smith also spoke.

“This is a moment of metamorphosis,” said Smith. “We’re often too focused on the tangibles, like test scores and academics, but HASP transcends that. These students have shown resilience and persistence in a world that is significantly different from five years ago. I am so grateful that we’re all here together to celebrate them.”

As the ceremony proceeded, members of the HASP Class of 2023 thanked their peers and friends, specific teachers and administrators, their parents and families, and all who created a positive impact on them.

“HASP has been a blessing and has shaped me into the person I am today,” said graduate Luca Dimnet. “Thank you to everyone who didn’t give up on me.”

“Getting older is scary but I’m also really excited,” said graduate Julian Cerino. “HASP has been a wonderful experience and it has evolved into a home for me.”

The common theme of the students’ speeches: the small moments, interactions, acts of kindness and encouragement, hold the most meaning.

“Your speeches were heartfelt and very true to you,” Scotch said after the students wrapped up their speeches.

 5 HASP graduates on track at graduationIn closing, he referenced Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues, a bold and arduous project of moral perfection. 

Scotch explained how Franklin would take a single virtue at a time, work on it, and then move on to the next. Franklin decided that a virtuous path needed to be broken down to give each area concentrated effort, accounted for his progress on a chart, and shared the process with others. 

“It's about refining the moments where we fail and allowing for self-awareness and growth,” Scotch said. 

Scotch concluded by applauding the HASP Class of 2023 for demonstrating the same dedication to self-awareness and self-improvement that Franklin strived for in his 13 Virtues, and for reaching a major milestone in their lives. 

Congratulations to the HASP Class of 2023! (Julian Cerino, Luca Dimnet, Miranda Mosco, Kai Owens, Joaquin Pelaez)