The lights of Globe Life Field were shining brightly on our seniors as they walked across the stage and announced their future plans to the world. In front of an energetic yet socially distanced crowd, a total of 867 scholars proudly revealed their respective college, university, career path, or branch of the military that they would be pursuing upon graduating from high school.
The return to an in-person venue was a refreshing change for scholars, staff, and families alike, as last year’s event took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While traditionally attended by over 6,000 people, this year’s event was pared down to accommodate social distancing. Families of our seniors, Uplift staff, and partners were in attendance, along with 8th-grade scholars and their families from across the network.
“8th grade is a critical year for our scholars as they prepare to transition into high school,” said Uplift CEO Yasmin Bhatia. “We want our 8th graders to experience the excitement of the event and picture themselves crossing that stage one day as seniors.”
Class of 2017 Uplift Alumni Tanaka Tava spoke to this year’s seniors and reminded them how resilient they were due to everything they had gone through in the past year.
“You are the only you that will ever exist,” said Tanaka. “Understanding that will help you significantly in life. Live a life full of empathy, and make sure you own your story because no one can take that away from you.”
Tanaka was featured as part of our Life After Uplift series. Read more about him and his new social media app, Videloo, launching later this year.
Anthony Abraham Jack, a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, served as the special guest speaker. Anthony thanked scholars for investing in themselves and advised them never to be afraid to ask for help.
“Too many people are taught to see that asking for help is a sign of weakness, or worse; evidence that one does not belong,” said Anthony. “Help-seeking is a mark of strength. It is a sign that you are wise enough to know that you are approaching the edge of your own understanding about a subject or that you are about to embark upon a path that is better and more effectively charted with company than alone.”
Relive some of the sights and sounds of Uplift Senior Decision Day 2021!