JAMESTOWN, N.C. — There were more than a few days last year that Katrice Morris didn’t think this moment would come. A day her daughter Savannah Childers had been working toward for more than a decade. A day that brought tears to mom’s eyes, “It was a proud mama moment of course,” said Morris.
Her daughter Savannah Childers spent 47 days in the hospital begging in May, “It was horrible, but I kept saying I am not leaving here with an empty wheelchair,” Said Morris. Savannah was born with a rare chromosome modulation syndrome. She has severe cognitive and physical disabilities, but she also has a determination and strength that is unmatched, “She’s a warrior, I say she’s a retired showgirl from Las Vegas, she is my sassy diva and my little angel,” said Morris.
On this day more than 40 cars rolled by her house to celebrate her graduation. Savannah has been a student at Haines-Inman Education Center for almost a decade. Now 21-years-old she is graduating from the school, “I saw her basking in the glory of who she is,” said Morris.
The same caravan that drove by Savannah’s home also rolled by the home of Quanasia Pearson. The only other graduate this year Quanasia is blind and has multiple cognitive and physical disabilities as well, “It’s super important to celebrate all the accomplishments that our students have made and getting to graduation is a huge accomplishment,” said teacher Mike Gipp.
The school only has about 130 students and the sad reality is that many won’t make it to graduation. So for Savannah and Quanasia this day was something to cherish, “She’s (Savannah) surpassed everything I ever wanted and she’s just amazing,” said Morris.
The line of cars to drive by and wave and congratulate both young women took at least 15 minutes at each home. Many teachers bringing cards and gifts to share with the family. Gibb has taught Quanasia for the past seven years so if you thought a global pandemic was going to stop him from getting a hug from one of his favorite students you’d be wrong, “To see her moving on it kind of breaks my heart but I’m super proud of her because she has come a-long-ways over the years,” said Gipp.
Both women were presented with a diploma from the school’s principal during the drive-by graduation. Kevin Carr making sure each student knows how special they are, “We are very proud of them,” said Carr.