Home Lifestyle PHOTOS: Richmond Early College Class of 2024

PHOTOS: Richmond Early College Class of 2024

Richmond Early College High School Senior Class President Joshua Camacho addresses his classmates at the graduation ceremony May 17. See more photos below. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — “Can you believe the time has come?” Principal Joy Smart asked the 2024 graduates of Richmond Early College High School the evening of May 17.

Family and friends of the graduates packed Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College to watch their loved ones walk across the stage after four years of hard work to earn both a high school diploma and associate degree.

“I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there are many emotions running through those graduate rows right now,” Smart continued. “Some of you are happy and excited, or you may be feeling nervous, scared, anxious and confused.

“I know that some are eager and ready for your next steps and maybe even some of you are sad because this door is closing.”

But, Smart went on, she hopes her students are feeling proud and thankful.

“You have worked hard, you have overcome obstacles, you have spent endless hours studying, writing papers and preparing projects,” she said. “And guess what? You did it. It all pays off tonight.”

Smart said 69% of the graduates will be furthering their education at a college or university, 24% will be joining the workforce and one is joining the military — and a few are still deciding: “But I have no doubt that you will figure that out very soon.”

Senior Class President Joshua Camacho also addressed his fellow graduates, starting by giving thanks to God and his family.


“All of my accomplishments are not just mine, they’re also my family’s,” Camacho said.

Camacho then turned his attention to his classmates, asking them to reflect on their accomplishments.

“We began freshman year dealing with the remnants of a terrible pandemic that took the lives of many loved ones,” he said. We were forced to start school behind a screen from home, worrying about the world around us.”

During their sophomore year, Camacho continued, they were able to remove their masks and see the rest of each other’s faces. Then came their junior and senior years.

Camacho said their journey “was full of change and challenges, yet we made it through.”