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The LightHouse seniors of 2013 boasted of big dreams.

In the fall, the dozen students will scatter across the state from LSUS to ULM to Southern University to pursue degrees in everything from biology to music.

Gathered for the annual graduation celebration, they shared their plans with the LightHouse scholarship committee and reflected on what they have learned. James has only been part of the program for a couple years, but it has made a lasting impact.

“It helped me recognize my strengths and choose a college,” he said.

Next year, he will be heading to Grambling to join the band and pursue a degree in music education.

Evandrielle, who has grown up in the LightHouse, will be moving to Ruston for a degree in journalism. Because of the preparation at the LightHouse as a child, she said she has been successful at Loyola College Prep.

She also worked at the LightHouse, helping younger students.

“Working in the program taught me leadership and responsibility,” she said.

Committee members also offered some advice for the new graduates: Persevere, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Work hard, but remember to play. Surround yourself with positive people.

“There are going to be naysayers,” committee member Gwen Dawkins said. “Don’t let them get to you. They will destroy your dreams. … You don’t fail until you refuse to get back up.”

James summed it all up in the lessons he will take with him from the LightHouse.

“You have to keep your focus.”

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