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Graduating senior plans for future

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North Edgecombe senior Daquarious Perry poses for a portrait on May 23 at the school.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Thursday, May 30, 2019

While graduation day means a time for rest and relaxation for many seniors, one Edgecombe County Public Schools student has his eyes placed firmly on the future. 

“I just want to get straight to work, said Daquarious Perry, 18, who will be graduating from North Edgecombe High School next week. “I just want to make money and show my family I can do this.I have a brother that I look up to and he has pushed me a lot.”

With the help and support of his brother, his teachers and his girlfriend, Ashanti Lancaster, who also graduates this year, Perry feels that he has placed himself in a position to get a good-paying job. He is not only getting his high school diploma. He has also already earned certifications in forklift training, OSHA safety and electronics.

While Perry wants to get straight to work right now and is actively seeking employment, he sees himself getting more training in the future.

“I hoping that in the future, Cummins or whoever hires me will pay for me to go back to school to get more training in manufacturing or maintenance engineering. I did my senior project on that,” Perry said.

He also is considering studying for a construction trades career at Nash Community College.

Donnell Cannon, principal of North Edgecombe High School, said Perry is an example of the transformation that can take place in students’ lives when they discover their passion. Helping students take charge of their own life and their own education is part of the approach the school district is taking as they seek to transform their schools.

“This kid has unbridled potential and is one the hardest working kids in the senior class,” Cannon said. “Over the past two years, he has run aggressively towards the opportunities that are in front of him. He has discovered his passion, especially within the Electrical Systems course that we offer here in partnership with Edgecombe Community College.”

Perry said the class interested him.

“I like the program because it is hands-on and I am a hands-on person,” Perry said.

Cannon said that “passion discovery” has transformed the way Perry navigates the school building.

“Math has become that much more important, English has become that much more important, science has become that much more important because he has connected the dots and it all matters to him,” Cannon said.

Perry said the course changed his life.

“I used to be the kind of student that loved to do what other people did and who followed the wrong people. After I joined the Electrical Systems class, it made me a better person. I am just glad I joined that program because now I have these certifications and that has given me better opportunities and better direction in my life,” Perry said. “Once I realized that there were a lot of things I could do after I graduated, it pushed me to do better in all my classes.”

Cannon said this experience also has made Perry view himself and his future through a more positive lens. 

“He realizes that he is on the hook for his own experience. He is on the hook for what his future holds,” Cannon said. “When he walks across the stage, I know that kid is going to be alright.”

Perry is just one of about 422 Edgecombe County Public Schools seniors who will be walking across the stage at a graduation ceremony this year. Most of these seniors will be honored in a series of ceremonies held over the next few days.

A county-wide Baccalaureate Service, an optional non-denominational religious service honoring all high school graduates in the district, will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Tarboro High School gymnasium. Students participating should wear their graduation gowns and meet at the school gym at 3:30 p.m. Students and their parents from all Edgecombe County high schools are invited to attend. Edgecombe County Sheriff Clee Atkinson will be the guest speaker at the event.

SouthWest Edgecombe High School  will hold its graduation ceremony at 6 p.m. on June 7. Roughly 178 seniors are expected to graduate at this event.

About 147 seniors are expected to graduate this year from Tarboro High School. That graduation ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. June 7 at the Tarboro High School gym.

Graduating seniors at North Edgecombe High School will turn their tassels at 10 a.m. on June 8.  That graduation ceremony will be held in Keihin Auditorium at Edgecombe Community College.

All of these graduation ceremonies will be live-streamed at bit.ly/ecpslive .

The graduation ceremony for the Edgecombe County Early College High School was held on May 23. At that ceremony, 29 seniors earned diplomas and most earned at least one associate degree from Edgecombe Community College as well. 

That graduation ceremony is available for viewing at bit.ly/ecpslive .

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