On December 6, 2022 we celebrated the JAYC’s 5th annual graduation ceremony. The event took place at the Forum of Columbia and was introduced with opening remarks by program director Jarrell Daniels and facilitator Judge Jeanine Johnson.
The program kicked off with keynote speaker Dr. Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five and author of Better Not Bitter. Throughout his speech, Dr. Salaam emphasized the importance of education, creative expression, and the power of writing one’s own narrative.
Dr. Salaam emphasized the importance of having role models to look up to, saying simply and powerfully: “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
“Dream,” he said addressing the graduates, “with your eyes wide open. And then dream some more.”