TUCSON — Seven students all on the autism spectrum received their diplomas Wednesday from Intermountain Academy in Tucson, becoming the first graduating class of the school.
It was all pomp and circumstance for these graduates dressed in their caps and gowns.
There were tears on the faces of these kids.
Paul O’Rourke with Intermountain Centers tells News 4 Tucson about 85 percent of adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed.
Intermountain Academy’s goal is to give these kids the life skills and education they need to become productive members of the community.
It was an especially emotional night for teacher Christy Webb.
Webb taught each one of these individuals at some point over the last four years.
“This is what we do,” she said. “This is the reason we exist, to get them through what they need to get through for high school and then move on into adulthood. It’s going to be pretty emotional. I can’t believe we’re here. I’ve been planning this for so long and now we’re here. It’s pretty amazing, it’s a big deal.”
These students will now move onto J-TED, an internship program, and community college.