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Class of 2024: From Kindergarten to Graduation

Inijayon Gilmore’s compassion shines through in everything he does. This year, he graduates from Phoenix Academy, where he has been a student since kindergarten. This milestone is particularly significant as the Class of 2024 is the first group of students to graduate from Phoenix Academy.

From the very beginning, Gilmore faced challenges. His transition from preschool to elementary school was difficult, but the support and encouragement from Phoenix Academy staff made a significant difference. "They have rooted for him every step of the way, ever since we walked through the door," said Portia Gilmore, Inijayon’s mother.

Phoenix Academy Class of 2024 arriving to graduation in limo

She credits Phoenix Academy, which outperforms the local district in all subjects, for transforming Inijayon from a hesitant child into a confident young man who isn’t afraid to seek help when needed. "If you have a child who struggles, but a good support system behind them, the outcome could be amazing," she explained.

With the encouragement and support of his teachers and peers, Inijayon has not only excelled academically but has also made meaningful connections, even becoming the school’s first prom king. "He has come a long way socially and academically," his mother shared.

Phoenix Academy Class of 2024 throwing caps in air

Beyond academics, Inijayon’s compassionate nature stands out. His acts of kindness—whether helping those in need, volunteering, or supporting peers—demonstrate the profound impact of a nurturing environment. "He's a good kid, very respectful, and always tries to make everyone happy. I'm incredibly proud of him," Portia Gilmore explained.

Suzie Crawford, Inijayon’s kindergarten teacher, shared her well wishes as he graduates: “You’ve grown so much since you were that little boy I cared for in kindergarten, and I am so proud to see you graduate.” 

Inijayon plans to take a brief hiatus before pursuing higher education, with a goal of working in programming and video game design.

Congrats Grad 2024 yard sign

As Inijayon prepares for the next chapter of his journey, we can all draw inspiration from his story and the support he received along the way. Perseverance, determination, and a nurturing school community have helped shape his success. Congratulations, Inijayon and the entire class of 2024!

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About Phoenix Academy
Phoenix Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in High Point, North Carolina, serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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