Guest speaker Rev. Bobbie Samuels congratulated Class of 2024 at the Northview Academy graduation Friday afternoon.

“In just a few short minutes, you will be a graduate of Northview Academy,” Samuels, the pastor at South Iredell A.M.E. Zion Church, told the graduates during the commencement ceremony at Mac Gray Auditorium in Statesville.

“You have grown at Northview Academy because you sit here today. And, we say, ‘A job well done,’ ” she added.

She told the 36 graduates in attendance that they are at a “crossroad, or a new day, in life.”

“Remember where you came from. Remember the village that stood with you. Remember those that never gave up on you. Remember those that didn’t walk away from you. Remember those who dried your tears and remember those that wouldn’t let you give up,” she said.

Samuels told grads to “Be strong and of good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them. For the Lord will not fail or forsake you,” she said, paraphrasing Deuteronomy 31:6-7.

“The peer pressure that you face in the adult world will be greater than the peer pressure you faced in high school,” she said.

Samuels said that then they will also face pressure in the workforce.

“Yes, you’ve got to get a job,” she said, which elicited laughter from the crowd. “At work, do your very best. Life is not fair. Don’t expect to have everything handed to you. You have to work for what comes your way. Be prepared. Treat others how you want to be treated.”

Samuels told grads that God never promised a trouble-free life.

“You’ll have one problem, then another and then another,” she said. “Be strong.”

“When you lose one job, God has something greater for you,” she added.

Samuels told them to remember that God will never leave or forsake them.

“Be strong like David who faced Goliath and only had a slingshot,” she said.

She closed by sharing others images of people in the Bible who were strong and of good courage when they faced challenges.

Northview Academy, formerly Pressly School, is designed to meet students where they are, help them grow academically, emotionally and socially, but most importantly support them unconditionally.

Principal Eric Babitt presented the diplomas to grads with the help of Jodi Little, assistant principal. After graduation, a majority of Northview students will go directly into the workforce; others are already in full-time jobs.