Around 500 high school seniors from across Hancock County met Tuesday morning to celebrate their upcoming graduations. Mississippi's First Lady, Deborah Bryant, stopped by to offer some words of encouragement.
The Bay Saint Louis Community Hall was packed. For the hundreds of students eagerly awaiting graduation, this celebration put things in perspective.
"It makes you realize that this is it. And it's a great experience," said Hancock High student Joshua Tromatore.
Students from all four high schools in the county joined together for the event commemorating their successes. Bay High, Hancock High, Our Lady Academy, and Saint Stanislaus were represented at the breakfast.
"It's one of the last senior events of the year and we've all been looking forward to it all year," said Our Lady Academy student Victoria Power.
This is the fourth year for the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce sponsored graduate breakfast. The chamber's education chair, Raymunda Barnes, said it takes all year to plan, but the end result is always worth it.
"It's always good to bring them together from all the high schools and if nothing more just so they'll know each other and bring some sort of camaraderie from the county," said Barnes.
With all of the schools under one roof, the students were able to come together and celebrate the past four years of high school and look forward to what lies ahead.
"I'm kind of excited, but then I'm kind of scared," said Bay High student Aaliyah McKee.
That feeling of nervousness is what Mississippi's First Lady, Deborah Bryant, spoke to the soon-to-be graduates about.
"I think the kids need to realize that if they have those butterflies or those little anxious feelings, that's perfectly normal," said Bryant.
During her address, Bryant made sure the students knew that they are the future of Mississippi, so their success means the state's success. Mrs. Bryant also encouraged the students to make good choices, telling them that what they chose now would affect the rest of their lives.