Senior Overcomes Obstacles To Graduate
In her final hours of high school, Senior Jennifer Cruz shares a few laughs with her classmates, but graduating is going to be bitter sweet without her mother there by her side.
"She had cancer when I was in elementary school, breast cancer and than she went back just with a toothache and by the time they figured out she had cancer it had already gotten to her brain."
A month before she finished 7th grade, Jennifer's mother passed away and soon after she lost contact with her father.
Since then, 18 year old Cruz has been completely taking care of herself, living with older siblings and leaning on some unlikely people for support.
During the last four years, four teachers at Wapato High school have taken Jennifer under their wing, and as Jennifer would call them, are her moms at school.
" We have kind of mothered her if you will and actually provided guidance when she needed it as well and we would push her when she needed to be pushed," says Tamera Wiley-Fauth.
But no matter how many people are in the crowd on grad night, Jennifer will still be looking for her mom.
"When you are done graduating you go and the first people that are their crying are your mom and dad but I'm not gonna get to have that."
Cruz is graduating at the top of her class, and will be attending college in the fall.
Though Jennifer has learned lessons in school, it's her life experiences that have provided her greatest lessons so far.
"There is no need to just sit there and dwell on it, what happened in the past might as well make yourself better from it."