The annual Baccalaureate ceremony is a sign that graduation is just days away for Hazard High School seniors.
“All the students, we are all like brothers and sisters, we're all close it is a family,” said graduating senior Tommy Dixon.
"It means everything to me really. myself, I didn't think I was going to make it to high school."
The journey has been more challenging for some like Dixon , who was not always sure of where he was going to stay after leaving the classroom. It has already been announced that schools across the commonwealth will be receiving grants to help students deemed “homeless.”
One Hazard High School senior who falls in that category will still be getting his diploma later this month. The student said there are some special people at the school who helped motivate him to get to this point.
Dixon said he has bounced around to four different high schools in two states to get to this point. He said he lived in Florida for a while with his uncle, who taught him a thing or two about how to better himself.
"He basically taught me to care about others, to care about myself," said Dixon.
After moving out of his parents home the first time, he moved in with his uncle who then re-located to Arizona. Dixon said he did not want to move there, so he came back to Kentucky to try and live with his parents. The 20 year old said he then realized he was not living in a positive environment and moved out of his parents home two years ago and decided to take matters into his own hands.
"It was a need, not a want, it was not worth living with her, she didn't care about her kids, really," said Dixon.
"Then I didn't care if I lived or anything anyways."
He said he was once drinking alcohol in excessive amounts which resulted in him going to jail. He said that encouraged him to turn his life around.
By the time he decided to re-enroll in high school he was left "homeless" by the federal definition, part 13 percent in the district.
Dixon said the people around him at Hazard High changed his life.
"If it weren't for the high school I would probably not be here," said Dixon.
"I still don't think I would be here if I still lived with my parents, I don't think I would graduate, I would be out walking the streets somewhere."
Dixon said his plan was to become an underground electrician. He said he has applied and will be attending Hazard Community and Technical College in the fall.
Dixon said he cannot wait to cross the stage on May 20.