Caps Off to the Kennedy School’s 2024 Graduates

by Alexandra Porben | June 18, 2024

On Wednesday, June 12, friends and family gathered at The Catholic University of America to celebrate the achievements of the Kennedy School’s 2024 graduates.

Located in Northeast D.C., the Kennedy School at the Catholic Charities Education Center is a nonpublic day school for those ages six to 22 who have disabilities. The school specializes in serving students with autism, intellectual disabilities, emotional disabilities, learning disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

Graduation speakers included Matthew Putu, executive director of Catholic Charities’ Developmental Disabilities Services, and Kennedy School Principal Dr. Cheryll James, along with kind and inspiring words from Richard Rousseau, a Kennedy School volunteer.

“These students are observant and fulfill the school’s mantra of dreaming big, working hard and being kind,” James said. “Their leadership and kindness are present in all they do, and we know they are ready for what’s next.”

The future is bright for the 2024 graduates, Lashawn and Rahiem, as both graduated with certificates of completion. Throughout their time at Kennedy School, they have participated in vocational activities, community and volunteer projects, school activities and Special Olympics.

“I was able to become a better version of myself because of Kennedy School, and I’m thankful to the teachers and friends that I’ve made along the way,” Rahiem said. “You taught me to never give up on myself.”

Both graduates will be completing the summer youth employment internship at the school. Once completed, Lashawn will be attending a vocational program, where she will learn job-readiness and independent skills such as money management, social skills and household chores. Rahiem will be joining a workforce program that will assist him with getting a full-time job.