Wheelchair-using student walks at graduation ceremony

Wheelchair-Bound Student Walks at Graduation Ceremony
Wheelchair-Bound Student Walks at Graduation Ceremony

RICHMOND, Va. – There was not a dry eye in the house. That was the report from people who attended Glen Allen High School's graduation ceremonies this week at the VCU Siegel Center.

When wheelchair-using student, Jim New, was a freshman at Glen Allen High School, his mother said he made it his goal to one day walk across the stage to receive his diploma during his high school graduation ceremony. Four years later Jim, who was born with cerebral palsy, did just that.

One person who attended the graduation said the crowd got as loud as VCU basketball fans during a game.

The arena filled with a thunderous applause and classmates, parents and guests rose to their feet to recognize the student's achievements.

Jim's mother, Carol New, said that her son increased his therapy sessions in the weeks leading up to graduation in an effort to achieve his goal. She said that Jim was worried he would delay the ceremony too long with his walk, but added he was pleased with the support he received from students and school staff who helped make the moment possible.

Carol said that the Glen Allen High School staff and Jim's classmates helped create a community that Jim was proud to be a part of. She said that it gave her son a chance to be seen.

Carol went on to say that children with special needs are like everyone else in that they, too, have dreams and goal. She thanked Glen Allen High School for helping to make her son's dreams and goals come true.

Jim will attend Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center for vocational training. He hopes to one day be a teacher or have a job in radio.