A Black man whose life was forever changed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, has finally received the high school diploma that he longed for. After being displaced by the storm, Clint Smith never got the opportunity to graduate from Benjamin Franklin High School, but the school awarded him with an honorary diploma, WDSU reported.
Smith, 29, and his family were forced to evacuate their home three days after he started his senior year at Benjamin Franklin High School, the news outlet writes. The family ended up relocating to Houston. Although his parents went back to NOLA to continue working, he stayed in Texas and finished high school at The Awty International School. Although getting his high school diploma from the Houston-based school was a huge accomplishment for Smith, he felt out of place and sad that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to walk across the stage with his classmates from Benjamin Franklin. A moment that he and his friends looked forward to since entering high school was shattered by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Benjamin Franklin High School was destroyed by the storm but later opened its doors after receiving $1 million to be reconstructed.
Smith says that receiving the diploma from his former high school made him feel complete. “For years, I never knew whether or not I should say that I was an alum of Benjamin Franklin High School because technically I didn’t graduate from there,” he told the news outlet. “I didn’t know how much it would mean to me to get a diploma from my old school until, 12 years later, I held it in my hands. I know some of the stories of what these students faced during Katrina, having to graduate with a high school diploma from another school. I want these students to know: you are a part of Franklin, and I hope that even now, Franklin is a part of you.”
After graduating from The Awty International School, Smith went on to earn his degree at Davidson College. He also became a teacher and best-selling author and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree at Harvard University.
10 Quotes From James Baldwin That Will Change Your Life
1.1 of 8
2 of 8
This James Baldwin quote describes Trump's attacks well: “Whatever you describe to another person is also a revelation of who you are and who you think you are. You can not describe anything without betraying your point of view, your aspirations, your fears, your hopes.”— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) July 29, 2018
3.3 of 8
4 of 8
Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.— Weddings 211 (@Weddings211) July 23, 2018
James Baldwin #quote
5 of 8
“You have to go the way your blood beats." - James Baldwin .... happy birthday to the icon. pic.twitter.com/DuMtENSaJA— Clay 'Didn't Hold My Vote Hostage' Cane (@claycane) August 2, 2018
6 of 8
Just began reading _The Journey of Little Charlie_ by Christopher Paul Curtis and he had me at the opening James Baldwin quote. #kidlit #currentlyreading https://t.co/Wsteh5v08a pic.twitter.com/VIwoKPFwqc— Joshua Whiting (@jdwhiting) July 30, 2018
7.7 of 8
8.8 of 8
Hurricane Katrina Survivor Receives Honorary Diploma From New Orleans High School was originally published on newsone.com