St. Augustine Catholic School graduates throw their caps in celebration May 11 after the conclusion of graduation ceremonies.

St. Augustine Catholic School graduates throw their caps in celebration May 11 after the conclusion of graduation ceremonies.

Ponoka’s St. Augustine celebrates its 2017 graduates

Another year done and St. Augustine Catholic School has its fresh batch of graduates ready to take on the world.

Another year done and St. Augustine Catholic School has its fresh batch of graduates ready to take on the world.

Cap and gown ceremonies were held May 11 where 28 Grade 12 students proudly stood in front of friends and family to celebrate a major milestone in their lives.

Keynote speaker Sylvia Brendel spoke to students about their future and asked, “What will you make of your adult life?”

She pointed out that there is a need to build up a strong character to handle the challenges that will come a person’s way and added there is always uncertainty in life.

“What will you do when obstacles come in your way? They will, you know, it’s inevitable. It’s called life,” said Brendel.

She presented attendees and students with what she called “dream builders.”

Starting with determination, Brendel said graduates should shoot for the moon and when times get tough, to use family and friend supports who will lift them in their journey.

On the subject of generosity she added that graduates should consider giving some of their time to help out loved ones or to volunteer their time for others.

Brendel’s third builder was honesty. She said being honest will bring long-term personal rewards. The opposite of that comes with a high price.

With every positive comes a negative, offered Brendel. She pointed out two things that could be a hindrance to growth. The first is fear.

“There’s no absolute guarantees. No fail safe plans,” said Brendel.

She pointed out that living and fear go hand-in-hand but suggested things go well for a person when they don’t give in to that fear and move forward.

Her second warning revolves around what she called “unchecked curiosity.”

“There are, without a doubt, many points to curiosity,” said Brendel, adding that too much can hurt people.

“Unchecked curiosity can kill you at its worst and shatter you at its best.”

With those five points Brendel also offered her congratulations and said that the graduates will be able to fulfill their dreams with dedication and hard work.

Ponoka graduates listen in.

Valedictorian speaks to faith

This year’s valedictorian was Angela Nepomuceno who spoke on faith, heroism and determination.

For Nepomuceno faith in God is an important part of what makes a person. She suggested without God a person’s skills would not be what it is today.

“We have pride, and oftentimes we forget that the abilities we have do not come from ourselves; we have been gifted by God with these abilities as a means to glorify Him,” said Nepomuceno.

She points out that to “live in love and service to your neighbour,” may not be the most popular thing but strength comes from Jesus Christ.

At times the path to completing a task may seem tough but Nepomuceno advised against turning around, saying that will only cause feelings of regret.

“To avoid that, we need to grasp the summit tightly to carry the vision of being at the top with us along our journey to never forget why we even started on that path,” she explained.

“And welcome to the next milestone of life. Use what you have learned and experienced and carry it with you as you step out of this place,” she concluded.

Before the throwing of the hats, several dignitaries spoke to attendees plus a slideshow presentation was presented.