On June 9, friends and family of Chief Leschi's class of 2012 packed the gymnasium to celebrate the accomplishments of a talented class of students. Twenty-five students received their well-deserved diplomas before stepping into the next chapter of their lives.
The ceremony's opening prayer was led by Peggy McCloud, who thanked all parents, grandparents, family members and friends who supported students throughout their academic careers.
Valedictorian Brian Castillo and Salutatorian Danielle Kuzmanich spoke to the crowd of the journey ahead, and graduates also heard words of wisdom from speaker and accomplished Native American actor Adam Beach, best known for his roles as Victor in "Smoke Signals," Tommy in "Walker, Texas Ranger," Marine Private First Class Ira Hayes in "Flags of Our Fathers" and Private Ben Yazzie in "Windtalkers."
Back for the third year at Chief Leschi's commencement, Adam Beach, a member of the Saulteaux Tribe, urged students to break down barriers and pave their own way in life.
"The choices you make define who you are," he said. "I had so many friends and family members tell me I couldn't make it in this industry, but I needed to prove them wrong. If anyone tells you that you can't do something, give me a call. It's my dream to show people that we can accomplish anything we want to."