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Mission High School celebrates their first graduate

Posted at 8:51 AM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 18:45:20-04

Clark County School District's Mission High School has many reasons to celebrate.

They are the nation's first publicly-funded recovery high school and they are coming up on their first full school year in operation. Bianca Barnette will be the first to graduate from Mission High School's class of 2018.

"I didn't really think I was ever going to graduate and now I have the cap and gown and all the invitations and I'm like wow, it's crazy," said Bianca Barnette.

Barnette was once addicted to heroin and cocaine. She dropped out of her other public high school. After hitting rock bottom, Barnette went to treatment.

When she got out of treatment, she started at Mission High School in the fall of 2017.

"Not only does this school offer sobriety, but it offers so many tools that you can take on in your life," she said.

Barnette will be the school's first graduate. She is so thankful for what Mission High School has done for her. There will be a graduation ceremony for Barnette on Tuesday May 29th at noon.

Barnette will also be throwing out the first pitch at the Las Vegas 51s game on Saturday May 26th.

"There was a lot of love and people that wanted to hug me and that was weird for me," said Barnette when speaking about the beginning at Mission High School.

The school has about 30 kids enrolled right now. They can take up to 100. 

In order to stay in the school, you must be working a program of recovery, have a desire to get clean, and be honest.

"These kids are out there and they are hurting and there's no place for them to go," said Mission High School's principal Barbara Collins.

The principal gets emotional when speaking about how proud she is of her students.

"Seeing where they started to today, it's amazing," she said. "To hear their stories, watch the things that they've overcome. They're running for student council and they are giving back to the community and they are sharing their own experiences and their strength and their hope and their love with other people that are hurting. It's beautiful and so we are changing lives."