Wheelchair-using graduate receives standing ovation during emotional walk across stage

RICHMOND, Va. – There was not a dry eye in the house. That was the report from people who attended Glen Allen High School’s graduation ceremonies this week at the VCU Siegel Center.

When wheelchair-using student Jim New was a freshman at Glen Allen High School, his mother said he made it his goal to one day walk across the stage to receive his diploma during his high school graduation ceremony.  Four years later Jim, who was born with cerebral palsy, did just that.

Watch the emotional moment here.

One person who attended the graduation said the crowd got as loud as VCU basketball fans during a game.

The arena filled with a thunderous applause and classmates, parents and guests rose to their feet to recognize the student’s achievements.

Jim’s mother Carol New said her son increased his therapy sessions in the weeks leading up to graduation in an effort to achieve his goal. She said Jim was worried he would delay the ceremony too long with his walk, but added he was pleased with the support he received from students and school staff who helped make the moment possible.

New said Glen Allen High School staff and Jim’s classmates helped create a community that Jim was proud to be a part of. She said it gave her son a chance to be seen, and not be out aside. She said children with special needs are like everyone else in that they too have dreams and goal.

She thanked Glen Allen High School for helping to make her son’s dreams and goals come true.

Jim will attend Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center for vocational training. He hopes to one day be a teacher or have a job in radio.