Written by: Abigail Bolner
It was a normal afternoon at the residence but this time I was greeted at the door with a smiling Chris Reese who is excitedly yelling my name from the front doorway, hurrying me to come inside. I run up the stairs and into the house, Chris running in front of me, saying, “Come upstairs! I want to show you something!” I quickly followed him up to his room, where I see him standing in front of me, grinning from ear to ear holding up a small, blue folder with gold words engraved on the front. Without saying a word, Chris opens up the small, blue folder where it read “Pittsfield Public Schools” and his name. I knew immediately why he wanted to proudly show this little blue folder off to everyone who came to the house; it was his diploma!
After congratulatory words, I asked Chris how he felt in that moment, holding that diploma in his two hands. “Proud”, “accomplished”, “just so happy” are the words he fired off to me when I asked him the question. “I just feel so proud that I have that [diploma] and I am very excited”, Chris said to me, “I completed a lot to get it, I finished a lot of work, and I’m really proud of myself for that because I didn’t think I would ever do it.”
I know everyone that is lucky enough to know Chris realizes how big of an accomplishment this is; one that should be celebrated and recognized as often as it can. With this in mind, I asked Chris another question, “What did it take for you to get that diploma?” Chris proudly stated, “When I didn’t think I could do it, I would try harder. That’s how I did it—I pushed myself.” Chris also credited his several teachers, especially his life skills teacher, on how he was able to get his diploma. Chris realized that he often struggled in the process and it was not an easy journey. “What would you tell other high school students that are currently struggling in trying to get their diploma?”, I asked him. He replied, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”
Congratulations Chris Reese, Pittsfield High School Class of 2017!