Flint, MI—This year’s Senior Decision Day ceremony held special significance as Flint Community Schools celebrated the class of 2021’s achievements in the wake of a global pandemic. 

On Wednesday night, parents, teachers, and seniors gathered on Zoom to recognize more than 80 graduating Southwestern Jaguars. Awards were presented, and students announced their future plans. 

“I believe that it is important for you all to focus on your goals, your aspirations, but understand that many of the things that we plan on will change through time, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Southwestern Principal Chris Ochodnicky said to seniors. “The one individual that you know, apart from your own personal faith, that is going to be with you for your entire life is you. You’re always going to be there. So, as you proceed in life, I want to make sure that you keep in mind, don’t make decisions that you’re going to regret.” 

Many seniors will begin their college education at Mott Community College in the fall, but others will leave Flint for Texas, Arizona, and boot camp in the United States Army. 

Kori Richmond-Sattiewhite received the Principal’s Award and was recognized for her community service. Nathaniel Robertson received the ALA Principal’s Award. 

Richmond-Sattiewhite along with Anthony Brown and Jasmine Haynie received multiple Community Foundation Scholarships including the Flint Northern Alumni Scholarship and the David Paul Petro Award. 

Kahari Thomas also received a “full ride” to Michigan State University. 

“I want to thank all the teachers and the administration for getting me through this difficult time in the pandemic because I started off school rather rough. Online learning was something that I was not used to. It was such a huge, drastic difference for me. And the teachers helped guide me through my struggles and I continued throughout my education and now I’m here,” Thomas said. 

Graduation will take place at Southwestern Academy on June 2. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. 

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...