Dayton graduates to make it so

Ever since she was two years old, Dayton High School valedictorian Lauryn Bailey was inspired by her mother to become a doctor, and now she’s one step closer.

For 14 years, Bailey’s mother Jennifer has been battling breast cancer, and has inspired Bailey to go on to pursue a medical career to try to help others.

“She is my inspiration,” Bailey said. “I wanted to be a doctor since I was two, when she was diagnosed with cancer. For me, it’s always been there and I have wanted to be able to help others like they helped my mom.”

Bailey’s mother has been an influential person in her life. In her valedictorian speech at graduation, she talked about how her mother was her first teacher, from teaching her life lessons to being her teacher from kindergarten to second grade. At the graduation ceremony Thursday, Bailey’s parents joined her on stage to reward her with her valedictorian medal.

“Life isn’t easy, but to be rewarding it can’t be,” Bailey said to the audience of graduating students from Dayton High School.

At the ceremony, Bailey was also joined on stage by the superintendent, board of trustees, and the class president to congratulate the students.

“Tonight we are one, but tomorrow we are whatever we want,” Morgan Claypool, class president said.

One of the most important pieces of advice came from Nancy Gardner, self-proclaimed graduation coach from Dayton High school.

“When you are out in the wider world, remember that there are no tardies; no one is going to call you in the morning to get you up for school,” Gardner said. “No one will call to see if you are coming in. Well, you will get a call, but it will more likely be ‘don’t come in today or ever again.”

“May the odds be ever in your favor, peace, and I love you,” Gardner added.


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