On Sunday, April 30, 55 high school seniors celebrated everything they have accomplished over the past five years in a special C5 Leaders graduation ceremony held at Faneuil Hall. We were thrilled to welcome Chief of Education for the City of Boston Turahn Dorsey who delivered the commencement address and congratulated this class for their many accomplishments and inspiring them to go out and continue changing the world.


Lisa Bower, senior community action coordinator and Camp Lapham director, awarded 20 graduates with the President’s Volunteer Service Award which recognizes United States citizens who have performed over 100 hours of service in a 12-month period.


“You’ve reached a defining point – perhaps the end of your time with Crossroads, but certainly not the end of your journey,” said Mr. Dorsey. “Not everybody is ready for life to accelerate or to ascend to rarified altitudes. Not everyone is ready to rise to the occasion. But I would hazard to guess that each of you is prepared in great part because of the C5 experiences you have had.”


Each teen has spent a portion of their senior year focused on their Medallion projects, a personal community service project designed and implemented by them to impact the community. In addition, over April Vacation 34 of these teens embarked on a weeklong Community Service Road Trip to Philadelphia that they planned alongside Crossroads staff.


Cheyenne Mendes, a C5 New England staff member at Camp Lapham for the past four years, reflected on her time with Crossroads:


“Part of my joy, happiness and renewed sense of hope these past four years is because of all of you. Each and every one of you. You’ve helped to regain and refresh my views on education, metropolitan communities and volunteering. You’ve refurbished my hope in your generation and this world’s future… I am just one of multiple people you have inspired and impacted. All I ask is that you continue to do so and to allow others to impact and influence you. No matter where you go or what you do, never forget those who have walked in front of you to guide you, behind you to push you and beside you with you.”


“It has been an absolute pleasure to watch this class grow from children who were unsure of themselves to the poised, self-assured adults you see before you today. The journey hasn’t been easy, but looking back, the progress is astounding,” said Deb Samuels.


Seventy percent of the graduating class will be first generation scholars, and some of the class is pursuing different dreams. The Class of 2017 has decided to attend or participate in the following institutions: Assumption College, Boston College, Bridgewater State University, Bucknell University, Bunker Hill Community College, Clark University, Fitchburg State University, Hamilton College, Lasell College, Lesley University, Lynchburg College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MassArt, Massasoit, Newbury College, Northeastern University, Pennsylvania State University, Quinsigamond Community College, Regis College, Rhode Island College, Roxbury Community College, Salem State University, Stonehill College, UMASS Amherst, UMASS Boston, UMASS Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rhode Island, University of Tampa, Westfield State University, Worcester State University and Year Up.


We sincerely look forward to maintaining all the wonderful relationships we have with these young adults as they move forward and continue to leave their marks on the world. We know that each one of them will accomplish great things, and it is with heavy hearts that we watch them grow and reach for bigger stages to shine on.