Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

On Wednesday, June 12th Breakwater graduated twenty two incredible young people and celebrated their many achievements. Leading up to graduation day, our 8th grade students have been hard at work completing their capstone research and presentations, traveling to Costa Rica, and getting ready for high school. Thank you to our incredible teachers who have endlessly encouraged, supported, and guided this wonderful class of graduates. Next year the Class of 2019 will be starting 9th grade at Yarmouth High School, Portland High School, Casco Bay High School, Deering High School, Thornton Academy, and MSSM as well as other area high schools.

We are in complete awe of the 22 members of this graduating class and are full of gratitude for the many ways they have contributed to our community whether they were here for two or ten years. Every year our commencement ceremony features a personal speech from each of our graduates sharing who or what they are most thankful for at Breakwater, a special memory of their time here, or what they will miss the most. This year was no different. Read on to hear memories and words of wisdom and gratitude from this year's graduating class as they embark on their lives beyond the breakwater.

“I want to emphasize that Breakwater School is a community, not a place. The people who participate in the community, who teach us and watch us grow, and our peers are what makes Breakwater school as accepting and supportive as it is.” - Evan

“I came to Breakwater in 3rd grade and to 8 year old me, it was the best thing that could have happened…..Breakwater has shaped me in ways I could not have guessed in my wildest dreams” - Obie

“Standing up here today I don’t have a perfectly crafted speech from any of my past years here, but I wanted to say my thank yous to the people that made my time here incredible.” - Ellie

“The things I’ll remember most from Breakwater are the unspoken connections that are everywhere if you look for them.” - Paisley

“Breakwater changed a 5 year old kid who didn’t want to go to kindergarten, into a 14 year old kid who is actually interested in what high school has to offer. No matter what the future holds for me I’m never going to forget how much Breakwater helped make that future possible.” - Wyatt

“It’s scary but I can’t wait… to break off from the breakwater. I can’t wait to grow.” - Abby

“One of the most important things that I have been taught at Breakwater is to accept everyone for who they are. From the start of my time here I’ve been taught that it doesn’t matter your sexuality, gender, race or ethnicity we are all just trying to live on this earth.” - Posie

“As my time at Breakwater is wrapping up, one thing that is apparent to me is that my approach to challenge has changed drastically. When I was starting at Breakwater I would see a challenge and my response was let's make jokes and try to avoid thinking about it. The Breakwater trip program has definitely been a driving force in this change. For me, the trips have all been really great experiences.” - Charlie

“I’m going to miss this school and its community so much. It has prepared me to move beyond the breakwater” - Oliver

“An experience that stands out from the rest is from when I was in 7th grade and we were doing the immigration project….. I ended up deciding to make and sell shirts so I could give the profit to people who needed it. I stood outside selling the shirts I designed for a little over a month and in the end, I raised 600 dollars and gave all of it to the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center…...Out of everything I've done This was definitely one of the most important experiences of my life and I probably wouldn't have been able to do it if I haven't gone to Breakwater “ - Makai

“Breakwater has taught me to live in the moment and that I don’t always have to worry about what’s next. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I will be ready for whatever happens.” Molly

“Breakwater taught me how to persevere through the toughest of times. Like the last stretch up a snowy mountain in fifth grade, or the first night in my life sleeping in a shelter that I made in sixth grade…..These experiences all pushed me past my boundaries and made me understand how to look past the pain and problems and to focus on the bright light ahead. Breakwater has taught me to help others and to help myself.” - Emily

“I have gotten to do so many cool trips at Breakwater. I love this school and don’t want to leave.” - Chase

“I came to Breakwater in Kindergarten, and since then the school has taught me many things, the most important one being to be more open to new ideas.” - Jules

“And so my change began, and it was beautiful, I spread my wings and flew! I began making friends, and advocating for myself. I finally knew who I wanted to be and I was determined to let Breakwater take me there. I'm happy to say that I am confident, strong, brave and so much more because of this wonderful school.” - Sam

“Breakwater is a very special and different school as you may know. What made going to school here so special was the outdoor education and all of the clubs. I always loved going out and seeing the world and being able to learn in a more hands on way.” - Alina