Looking Back on the 2023 ISBVI Graduation Ceremony
By: Seth Johnson
On Friday, May 26, the 2023 graduation ceremony was held at Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI), with 11 graduating seniors receiving their high school diplomas or certificates of completion.
Held in the historic ISBVI auditorium, the ceremony took place the morning after the annual ISBVI Senior Banquet, at which all 11 graduating seniors received gift baskets put together by the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation and our community of supporters.
As part of the graduation ceremony, ISBVI Class of 2023 valedictorian Kaitlyn Overshiner delivered a powerful speech, thanking all of those who helped the students get to this point in their lives while also looking ahead to all that she hopes the Class of 2023 will accomplish.
“The teachers and staff here at ISBVI are the best in the world. It has been our teachers who have helped us realize our dreams, so let’s give a round of applause for our teachers,” Overshiner said. “Our parents have been with us every step of the way and without their love and support today would not be possible, so let’s give a round of applause for our parents.”
In her speech, Overshiner also acknowledged all the unique obstacles this graduating class overcame in their time at ISBVI.
“Today, we celebrate the Class of 2023 and the fact that we have persevered and achieved our goal of graduation,” Overshiner said. “It has not been easy. We have had to overcome so much, such as visual impairments, the Coronavirus, and an America that seems more divided than ever, in addition to the everyday struggles of being teenagers. Together, we have persevered and thanks to our hard work, determination, and friendships we have not only survived, but we have thrived.”
In closing, Overshiner urged the Class of 2023 to remain confident and determined going forward, knowing that they have “the abilities and strength” to overcome any obstacle that comes their way.
“Overcoming blindness has taught me that disability does not define us; it is our determination and hard work that shape our destinies,” Overshiner said. “It is not about what we lack but what we can achieve with the abilities we possess. We must not let our limitations hold us back from pursuing our dreams and making a positive impact on the world.”
Following the 2023 commencement address from child advocate Jack Levine, those in attendance were treated to a moving performance of the song “Unstoppable” from the ISBVI middle and high school choir. To close out the ceremony, all the 2023 ISBVI graduating seniors received their diplomas, with family and loved ones cheering them on.
We at IBCF would like to congratulate the ISBVI Class of 2023 yet again on this major life accomplishment! We wish you all the best as you move on to the next chapters of your lives and cannot wait to see all that you accomplish.