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Briggs High Grants Diplomas to 25 Norwalkers

NORWALK, Conn. — When Anisa Moore was in middle school, she couldn’t imagine graduating from high school. She enrolled at Richard C. Briggs High School to “help me get my act together,” she wrote in an essay read by Briggs Principal Alaine Lane on Monday night at Norwalk Community College .

Moore got that unexpected diploma, along with 24 of her fellow Briggs seniors in an informal, sweet ceremony on stage at the Pepsico Theater. Graduation was preceded by a buffet dinner and followed by graduation cake in the lobby as families gathered to celebrate. In between, awards were bestowed and older folk encouraged the graduates to do well.

Lane, who is retiring, spoke of the “warmth of the staff and the personalities of the children” that fill the halls at Briggs.

“I love coming to work, I love the people I work with and I love your children,” she told the audience in the packed theater. “When people stop me and say, ‘Oh, you work at Briggs, isn’t that where the bad kids go?’ I respond with, ‘Yeah, I work there, but we don’t have any bad kids there. We have artists and poets and very creative men and women.’”

Each student stood to be recognized as winners of the Person-to-Person scholarship award — $2,000 each. Moore received the Wilkerson Scholarship; Jameson Whiteley was given the Delta Kappa Gamma Book Award and the American Legion Award; Dondre Johnson got the Martin Luther King Scholarship; Laurie Paymor Memorial Scholarship went to Herbert Rawls; Brian Bennett got the Ernestine Miller Memorial Scholarship; Jessica Cardenas earned the Fairfield County Excellence in Education Scholarship; and the Everyday Hero’s Scholarship went to Raquel Nance.

“I believe in your children,” Lane said before reading Moore’s essay “to illustrate who the children are who go to Briggs.”

“I …felt like I couldn’t get the help I needed in the big schools,” she quoted Moore as writing. “I feel like coming to Briggs is the best decision I could have made. A lot of people think Briggs is a bad place to go to school, and they are completely wrong. If it weren’t for Briggs, I would not be graduating.”

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