River City Early College graduates class of 2023

Published 1:10 am Thursday, May 18, 2023

River City Early College (RCEC) held its graduation ceremony for the 61 students in its class of 2023 on Wednesday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

After the introduction ceremonies, Salutatorian Teanda Richardson took the opportunity to address her classmates.

“At the beginning of ninth grade, I was scared and had no idea what to expect. But through the years, I found a voice and a confidence in myself that I never could have imagined having,” Richardson said. “And I know I’m not at all the only person who has experienced such growth and change. This level of change can be attributed to the people around us. From our teachers and faculty at RCEC and Hinds…to our parents and family members and all of our friends: All of these people have made a great impact on us that will span the rest of our lives.”

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Run by the Vicksburg Warren School District, River City Early College is a four-year high school program that students can apply to in the eighth grade. Along with their required high school curriculum, accepted applicants also complete the coursework required for associate’s degrees during that time.

Forty-three of the graduates earned their associate of arts degree, and 27 graduated with honors last week at the Hinds Community College graduation ceremony.

VWSD Board of Trustees President Kimble Slaton highlighted the class’s accomplishments in his speech.

“This group of 60 RCEC graduates has taken 3,543 semester hours of college coursework, (which) has saved their families, get this: $3.4 million,” Slaton said. “(Students earned) an average of 59.05 college credits per student, the highest average ever in the history of RCEC.”

The Valedictorian for the class was Morgan Alford, who spoke after the conferring of diplomas.

“We are leaders, and this school has laid down a foundation for us to go out and be a leader. Be bold, class of 2023, and be brave. Don’t sit around and wait for change to come. Be the change,” Alford said. “As Mohammed Ali once said, ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ Accomplish all your dreams. The doors are open. The only thing that can close those doors is you. Make your dreams your reality and never settle.”