Class of 2020 Inaugural Graduation Ceremony

Heartland High School presented its first high school diploma at their inaugural commencement ceremony. Together Heartland High School celebrates the achievements of this academic year and the Class of 2020. 


Heartland High School took this year’s disruption in stride moving from its classrooms located on the Broad Street Presbyterian Campus to virtual instruction, counseling and student engagement. 

Sarah Nerad, one of Heartland High School’s founders, presented the first commencement address that evening and shared, "My hope for the graduate is that you will set your bar high. Not only so you can see how far it can take you, but so the world can see that when a young person is in recovery, expectations should never be lowered. So keep your bar high, but every time that you clear the bar, I hope you use it as an opportunity to invest in the foundation that enabled you to succeed in the first place." 


As someone who entered recovery as an adolescent, Nerad is committed to ensuring other young people in recovery have the same opportunities that she did to enter and sustain long-term recovery. She was instrumental in co-founding the national advocacy organization, Young People in Recovery, and spearheaded the creation of Ohio State’s Collegiate Recovery Community.

Dr. Demetra Taylor, Heartland High School Board of Directors Chair explained, "Today's graduation is one of many manifestations of a dream, sparked by hope.  Hope that those struggling with addiction and or are in recovery can strive for more. That they too can dream big and achieve the goals that they set forth with the sky being their only limitations." 

Candice Greenwade, Executive Director, presented the first diploma at the ceremony. Greenwade shared, "Heartland High School is continuing to provide recovery services and virtual enrichments during the pandemic. We find it to be necessary to keep our students active and continue to promote sobriety in the time of isolation. Heartland will continue to have open enrollment for this school."


We celebrate the class of 2020!

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