Fortier leads Ellwood Christian Academy class of ‘23

Published 3:56 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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Azali Fortier has the bloodlines to write her own ticket for a successful future.

The Ellwood Christian Academy Valedictorian delivered a powerful message to her senior classmates during the graduation ceremony on Sunday morning.

Fortier, who will attend Spelman College in the fall, challenged the rest of the class of 2023 to make an impact on the world. Gregory Brown Jr., TMiyah Effinger I’Yanna Hatcher, Jennifer Hatcher, Jamarrious Hunter are the other ECA graduates .Malachi Woods wasn’t present.

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“To my fellow graduates, I want you to realize the potential you have,” Fortier said. “You have the power to make an impact, but it won’t be easy. You will have setbacks. But don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort and take chances.  Success isn’t a destiny, it’s a journey. I’m proud of you.”

Fortier also took time to acknowledge Mother’s Day, thanking her mother, Malika Sanders-Fortier, grandmother, Faya Toure and aunt Annika Jackson .

“My mother, grandmother and aunt led the way for me,” Fortier said. “Martin Luther King had a dream and I have a future.”

Pastor Gary Crum Sr. praised the leadership of Fortier, delivering his own speech about the impact of mothers. “A real mother cultivates your mind, but whips your behind.”