PACI Class of 2018 eager to embrace new challenges

The Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI) Grad Class of 2018 tosses their caps in the air following the conclusion of Wednesday’s ceremony at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

After 13 years of tests, assignments and bus trips, Lia Vorobyev and her fellow graduates can breathe a bit easier.

On Wednesday, Vorobyev and her 25 Prince Albert Collegiate Institute classmates walked across the E.A. Rawlinson stage to receive their high school diplomas, and put an exclamation point on all those years of effort.

As class valedictorian the day brought her a mixture of excitement and relief.

“I was nervous for the speech,” Vorobyev chuckled following Wednesday’s ceremony. “I was happy all my hard work paid off.”

Like many other graduates, she’s wasting no time in jumping back into the world of books, lectures and late night study sessions. Vorobyev is headed to college in the fall, and credited her time and PACI for teaching her that determination and effort are the keys to achieving her goals.

“If you work hard, you will reach success,” she said.

The graduation excitement isn’t confined to the students either. PACI principal Dawne Adams said this year’s graduating class was a unique group from a wide array of backgrounds, but one thing they had in common was their ability to overcome whatever challenges they came up against.

As that same group heads out into the world, she’s hopeful they’ll use their experiences in high school as a spring board.

“What I would love to see is that they’re empathetic,” Adams said. “As I said in my message, okay isn’t enough. (I hope) that they go fourth and do the best they possible can for society.”

That’s Vorobyev’s hope too, and she’s confident her fellow classmates have the ability and determination to do it.

“I think they’ll do good,” she said. “We have learned how to face challenges and overcome them.”