Clinton helps celebrate LEAD Academy graduating seniors - WSMV Channel 4

Clinton helps celebrate LEAD Academy graduating seniors

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Former President Bill Clinton speaks to the graduating seniors at LEAD Academy in Nashville. Former President Bill Clinton speaks to the graduating seniors at LEAD Academy in Nashville.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It's not every day that a former president comes to town and perhaps just as rare that every single graduate from an area high school is accepted into college.

All 44 graduating seniors at LEAD Academy in Nashville will attend a four-year college or university.

"One hundred percent on track to graduate, and 83 percent will be the first in their family to go to college," said Jeremy Kane, founder of LEAD Academy.

It was a big enough accomplishment that former President Bill Clinton made the trip to Nashville on Monday.

"I am very grateful to all of you who helped make this day a reality," Clinton said.

LEAD Academy is a state-funded charter school that started seven years ago as a school for sixth and seventh-graders, and has evolved into four schools with a mission of getting all of them to higher education.

This is the program's first graduating high school class.

"A lot of people are really shocked and excited that we all got into college. But to us it's like, 'Why wouldn't we believe in ourselves?'" said LEAD Academy student Jamila Hill.

Clinton congratulated the students and offered some advice.

"Wherever people work together in good cooperation, good things are happening," he told the students.

For Hill, meeting and introducing Clinton to her school was a huge honor.

"Afterwards, he hugged me and said congratulations," she said.

The LEAD Academy seniors hope to pass the torch to the next class so that they too accomplish the same goal.

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