OLD BRIDGE – The seniors at Reformed Church Home offered graduating seniors words of wisdom as they head off on their next journey in life.
“Don’t take anything for granted, work to reach your goals and you’ll be happy,” Millie Romano said.
The Reformed Church Home (RCH) threw its first Senior to Senior graduation celebration on June 16, filled with as much socially distanced pomp and circumstance for the graduates, who either worked at RCH or who are children of employees of RCH.
RCH provides assisted living, rehabilitation, long-term nursing care and respite care services at its Old Bridge location.
Amy Wendel, director of activities at RCH, said with canceled or postponed in-person graduations for high school and college seniors, and their seniors having been quarantined for so long due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Senior to Senior graduation celebration was born.
Adelaide Wright told the graduating seniors to “continue their formal education, volunteer to help others while learning yourself, and find new things every day.”
Magdalene Holland agreed.
“Stay in school as long as you can, don’t be in a hurry to leave home and never, never stop listening to the grass, birds, the wind … everything,” she said.
The graduating seniors included Deanna Campbell, Brian Gray, Hannah Osbahr and Marlon Iann Vergara from Old Bridge High School; Kaitlyn Ann Mendoza from St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel; Ken Adu-Poku and Terrel Sarpong from Sayreville War Memorial High School; Isaiah Almero, Andre Luis Lindo and Michelle Weisen from East Brunswick High School; and Erika Casalaspro from Kean University.
Kate Shepard, executive director at RCH, welcomed the graduates and their families.
Old Bridge High School Principal Vincent Sasso delivered the keynote speech. Following his speech, Sasso, along with Claudie Ramirez, a teacher at St. John Vianney, and Marybeth Drabik, a teacher at Sayreville War Memorial, offered testimonials from teachers and staff for the graduates.
Michelle Agyemamg, director of social services at RCH, and Paula LeBlanc, director of development, presented diplomas for the graduates.
Each graduate wore their respective cap and gown. After the ceremony, the graduates moved their tassels from right to left and with the lead from Casalaspro threw their caps in the air.
The seniors, graduates and guests enjoyed refreshments, music from the RCH dining services and DJ Jerry Castaldo, and pictures in the Don Adams Memorial Garden.
The graduating seniors also recieved a folder filled with advice from the seniors at RCH.