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M State grads are off to the races

Preparing herself for her student address, Chelsie Isacson takes a deep breath before sharing the struggles and triumphs on the way to graduation. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal 1 / 3
Over 100 M State Wadena graduates attended the ceremony Friday at the Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal2 / 3
Individuality is expressed freely on the tops of local graduate caps at the M State graduation Friday, May 10 in Wadena. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal3 / 3

Over 100 M State Wadena graduates did what M State President Carrie Brimhall said she regrets skipping.

Just like her, they persevered through some real life struggles to maybe be the first one in their family to graduate from college. Just like her they worked their tails off to pursue a degree they knew would better their future. But unlike her, this group took to the gym floor at the WDC Middle/High School and they took a moment to reflect on the achievement before them. They walked the floor, accepted their diploma and received congratulations for the high achievement. She praised the students for taking the time to acknowledge the big moments of life.

It was an especially big moment for student speaker Chelsie Isacson who shared how she was told a single mom couldn't or shouldn't try to go for a nursing degree. And despite having troubles early on with math classes, Isacson proudly came out of the program a graduate. While she felt discouraged at times, Isacson gave extra thanks to her daughter for giving her personal notes of encouragement through the trying times.

"My daughter was one of my biggest cheerleaders," Isacson said. "On days that were difficult, she would write me notes, she would give me hugs and she believed in me."

The audience was asked to take part in the ceremony on numerous occasions. Once they were asked to stand if they took part in helping the students succeed. Nearly the entire gym of family and friends stood to be recognized for their part.