Graduating from the School of Hard Knocks: Despite setbacks, Bremerton seniors beat the odds and will graduate.

  - Lynsi Burton, Wesley Remmer/staff photos
— image credit: Lynsi Burton, Wesley Remmer/staff photos

For some, the high school diploma is a blip.

It’s the milepost to reach before going off to college, joining the military, finding a job, highlighted by prom, after-school activities and worrying about acne and if he or she really really likes me.

But for some students, it’s more than a piece of paper.

It’s a monumental achievement, earned in spite of illness, abuse, neglect, homelessness and violence.

The diploma isn’t just a brass ring to these students. It didn’t come easily. It’s a symbol of their perseverance, of their ability to withstand the worst life can throw at them.

In this special feature, the writers at the Bremerton Patriot share the stories of students from Bremerton and Central Kitsap who beat the odds.

Curtis rolls the credits on his high school career

Kandyce found a new life on the cheer squad

Kelly doesn't have trouble smiling anymore

A home and a diploma for Victoria

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