A high school graduation is a milestone for most kids, but for one student it’s a milestone of a different kind. It’s a celebration of a new chapter and proof that miracles do happen.
Two months ago, Balaal Hollings almost died. He was shot in the head while trying to break up a fight at a house party. If he lived, he wasn’t supposed to walk or talk again. That was why his walk across the stage and speech at graduation were so special.
Hollings was the senior class president, student government president, homecoming king and a football star. After the shooting, he lost a football scholarship to a school in Wisconsin, but he never lost his spiritually or his sense of humor.
“Only two months and I’m walking and talking and fully rehabilitated, so it got to be God,” he said.
“He made me cry today,” said one classmate.
“Overwhelming. I was very happy to see him come out there,” another said.
The class of 2013 is the 128th and last graduating class of Northwestern High School. The school is closing its door at the end of the year.
Hollings was presented with a $50,000 scholarship. He once wanted to be a professional football player, but said God had other plans.
“I’m going to take pre-law or criminal justice,” he said.
Speaking of justice, Hollings is not waiting to move on with his life.
“People always ask me what would you say if you met the person face-to-face who shot you? And I would tell them, ‘I love you, and I forgive you,’” he said.
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