My Nephew Is Headed To High School!

The handsome graduate!

    This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my nephew’s eighth grade graduation.  I can’t even begin to describe to you guys how proud I was of his accomplishment.  You see, his academic road has not been an easy one and, as a result, reaching this milestone is even more significant.  As I sat proudly in the audience, I couldn’t help thinking how this rite of passage was indicative of all of his hard work and determination.

    Let me tell you a little about my nephew…  He is the oldest of three siblings who are being raised by a single mother, my sister.  Although she works very hard to provide her three boys with everything that they need, the reality is that she struggles to make ends meet financially.  With very little help from his father, she has had to step into both the mother and the father role for her boys.

After pinning his mom with his eagle wings, they shared this moment.

    During this academic year, my nephew has struggled with bringing up some failing grades and the competition that exists in middle school to have the designer clothing and sneakers.  Although my sister has taught him that material things are not important, it is a tough age and there is a lot of pressure to fit in and to be considered “cool.”  Unfortunately, due to her financial difficulties, my sister has just not been able to keep up with these trends when it comes  to her boys.

I’m such a proud Titi/Aunt!

    As a middle school teacher myself, I understand the impact that this peer pressure has on adolescents like my nephew and I suspect it had a lot to do with the decline of his grades on his report card.  That is exactly why his reaching this rite of passage is so poignant, he was able to rise above his feelings of inadequacy and find his own way to the successful completion of middle school.  Somewhere along the way, he realized that getting his education was more important than being considered cool or than having the latest duds.

Sharing his big day with his brother and his cousins!

    He is now headed to high school and I hope he will continue to be fueled by his desire to succeed and to exhibit perseverance.  Next year, the peer pressure will only increase and he will have to focus more than ever to keep his eyes on the proverbial prize.  As a family, we will support him and remind him daily how much we love him and how proud we are of him.  Hopefully that will be enough to catapult him to greatness.

Let’s Discuss:  What graduations did you attend this Spring or in recent years and what obstacles did the graduates overcome on their road to graduation?

© 2014, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Congrats to your nephew and to your sister for doing a wonderful job raising a strong child amidst many struggles.

  2. Sounds like he’s a good kid and doing a good job. Congratulations to him!

  3. Chavonne H says

    I haven’t attended any graduations this year but when my cousin graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Non-Profit Administration, I was so very proud of her because no one our family has graduated college. She grew up in a not so good neighborhood has nothing but bad influences surrounding her yet she made sure she grew up to help others and that inspires me. Congratulations to your nephew, I can imagine how proud everyone is of him.

  4. Robin Rue says

    No major milestone grades here – my boys are going into 2nd and 5th, but next year when my oldest goes into 6th, there will be a little celebration!

  5. Carlee C says

    Well I did not have a graduation to attend this year, but my daughter is moving up to Kindergarten. It is a pretty big step for all of us.

  6. kay adeola says

    Have not attended any graduations my kids will just be moving up a year.Well done to your nephew.

  7. Wonderful accomplishment! My oldest is entering 8th grade this year and I totally relate to what you are saying. Middle school has been very hard on him, too, and we are constantly struggling to find ways to bolster his self-esteem. Wishing your nephew continued success! With the great family support he has from you all, I’m sure he will have many more triumphs in his future!

  8. Congratulations to your nephew! I’m sure everyone is very proud of him. My little guy graduated from kindergarten and I’m still over the moon about it!

  9. mail4rosey says

    Big congrats to him!! I think it’s wonderful that he overcame peer opinion too. IF only ever child could learn how to do that so young.

  10. Rebecca Bryant says

    What an handsome young man and congrats on his graduation. May his future be as bright and as wonderful as he dreams it to be.

  11. Maria Sinclair says

    Congrats on his achievement! It’s so nice to see the entire family showing their support for each other.

  12. It is amazing how fast time flies. Congrats to your nephew.

  13. Amber Nelson says

    Man how time flies. Congrats to him!

  14. Veronica Solomon says

    Wow! That is awesome! They grow up so fast! Congratulations!

  15. Motivating Mommy says

    Congrats to you nephew. Going to highschool is a big stepping stone. I know my son is going to 1st grad and I don’t even want to think about him going to highschool.

  16. This is so great! My son is ff to highschool next year as well. Such a huge milestone for them

  17. Congrats! High school is the next big adventure and worth all of it!

  18. Congratulations! I am glad that he is going through with a smile in spite of.having to overcome adversity.

  19. Mommy2jam says

    WOO HOO Congratulations to your nephew! Oh the places you will go. These are the best years of your life, make them count! In a very safe way LOL Everyone wishes they could go back in time, this is your time to shine. GO get em kid!!!!

  20. Thanks for sharing your nephew’s story. He looks so happy in these photos! And with a loving family like yours behind him, he’s got a great foundation for success. I wish him all the best.

    My cousin’s grandson graduated from high school this year, and he’s now headed for collage. His father has had to take a job out of state, so their family is going through some rough times, too, but that foundation of family love makes all the difference.

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