Cypress Bay High School’s class of 2016 officially graduated on June 5at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. With a class of 1,100+ and a stunning graduation rate of 95%, it is no surprise that the social skills class seniors all received diplomas; some were even sporting honors cords around their necks. Cypress Bay High School is one of the highest-ranked public high schools in the nation. With incomparably qualified teachers and a zealous principal, the infamous Scott Neely, Cypress Bay promotes advanced yet nurtured development for any and all students, giving anyone the chance to prosper. An abundance of resources and generous sponsors provides for all the school’s events and activities, which furthers student progress. The HDS Foundation expresses immense gratitude to the school for supporting all its strides with this year’s first BRIDGES class.

The day was unquestionably emotional for BRIDGES’ parents and mentors alike. Graduating high school meant far more to Social Skills affiliates than getting good grades. Students with developmental disabilities not only have to worry about grades, but also have to consider their conduct, interactions with teachers and peers, and emotional well-being on a daily basis. Our BRIDGES students indubitably tackled these feats with determination and grace, and their success is undeniable. They confronted each challenge head-on despite their qualms and are leaving us as resilient, positive individuals. We only hope that their futures continue to reveal to them that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. HDS Foundation is so proud of these young men and women and will miss them dearly.

As we say farewell to our graduates, we are excited for the new school year to come. Our second year running the BRIDGES class is only looking to be bigger and better, with many more graduates to tearfully bid goodbye at its end. Here’s to a wonderful summer break for our students.