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The stories behind the stories

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been focused on getting everything squared away for the Post’s graduation section.
That means I’ve been all over the county, meeting students from each high school and listening to their stories. Then, I write them. But there’s only so much you can convey about a person in the limited space allotted.
Especially when you’re talking about students like Rigoberto Angeles. He’s deaf, and his family moved to the U.S. when he was a freshman. Over the past four years, Angeles has learned English and American Sign Language — and he’s managed to play soccer and maintain excellent grades.
That’s the story you’ll read in the graduation section, but there’s more to Angeles. There’s the disbelief that crept into his face when his interpreter told him that he had been chosen to have a story written about him in the newspaper, his attention to detail, and of course, there’s his patience with my rusty sign language skills.
Then, there’s the way Aaliyah Thurmond laughs when she talks about her daughter’s adorable antics, their afternoons at the park and their frequent ice cream dates. Thurmond knows the value of hard work and the sacrifices that have to be made in order to have drastic results.
Joshua Tillman’s story is one of vision. Despite his humble upbringing, Tillman has a detailed vision and lofty goals for his life — five, 10, 20, even 30 years down the road.
Jacques Jackson has an infectious, joyful spirit. The way he interacts with his peers is truly inspiring. He doesn’t allow his cerebral palsy to get in the way. In fact, he uses it as a motivator and a challenge to achieve.
These are just a few of the stories behind the stories you’ll see in the Salisbury Post’s graduation section on Friday.
But these students aren’t the only ones who have persevered, overcome and been victorious.
Each graduating senior has a story — a unique story worth telling. I wish I had the opportunity to sit down with each and every one of them. I want to listen to their stories, learn from their lives and then share them with you, my readers.
So, to each and every one of this year’s seniors, congratulations and good luck as you step into this next phase of life.
Contact reporter Jeanie Groh at 704-797-4222 or jgroh@salisburypost.com

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