On Tuesday June 10, 2008 the Hope of Detroit Academy held their 8th graduation at the Community Arts Auditorium on the campus of Wayne State University. Hope of Detroit Academy is a K-8 charter school in Southwest Detroit that has continually met Annual Yearly Progress for six straight years. The school is chartered by Ferris State University and managed by Leona Group.

The 38 graduates were greeted with cheers and applause from the family and friends that attended. Prior to the ceremony guests were treated to a photo project created by the students that included their inspirations and aspirations for the future that was projected onto the auditorium wall.

The opening of the ceremony was initiated by the school leader Benny Cruz who welcomed the graduates and congratulated the students for their hard work, dedication and for successfully completing the school year. Encouragement was provided by Regional Vice President Anthony Hubbard who spoke to the students in an uplifting and heartfelt speech. This set the tone for the keynote speaker of the evening Mr. Elias Gutierrez, the president of the Latino Press who was presented by the assistant school leader Ali Abdel. The speech stressed the importance of education and roles models in his life. In particular he thanked and acknowledged his father who was in the in the audience. Following the keynote speech, three valedictorian speeches were given by Jennifer Deweese, Natalie Gonzalez, and Leslie Vasquez. Due to their excellent academic efforts they were selected as the class valedictorians.

During the ceremony, several students from the graduating class performed song selections under the direction of music educator Zachary Maclean. The first selection “I Believe I Can Fly” was well received by the audience. However, the second selection “You Are My Hero” lead by soloist Marquita Humphrey sent the audience into an emotional journey that left several crying.

To conclude the evening, Mr. Cruz asked the students rise then move their tassels from right to left presenting the class of 2008 to the audience. All of the graduates took their caps and tossed them in the air while the song Celebration played in the background. As the students marched out to the music of Pomp and Circumstance the audience stood and applauded their graduates.