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Valedictorian Alexis Wilson was worried about having to speak before President Obama gave his commencement speech. She stood at the podium, and delivered an address that Mr. Obama later said would be a tough act to follow. "Many people have lost hope, but we want those people to look at us and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, your past does not determine your future," Wilson told her fellow grads.

There was a sense that history was being made during the graduation, but also an effort by many to live in the moment. At one point BTW's Principal Alisha Kiner spoke to her grandmother in the audience. "Hey, mama dear," she whispered, "I'm up here with the President."

President Obama made an effort to ensure the day was focused on the students. His speech centered around their success in the face of adversity. (more)

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Article by TOM POWELL, WREG News Channel 3 | Read full article here |  Watch additional footage of the event here