It was a night of celebration for students in a Mid-Michigan district working through its own financial issues.
They said it's the problems their city is facing that will make them stronger in the long run.
Flint parents and students tasted victory outside of the Whiting auditorium Tuesday nigh.
"It's an amazing feeling, an amazing feeling. It's something I've been looking forward all my life," said J-Rome Phifer-Lyons, Southwestern graduate.
That feeling of success trumped the failures that have plagued the city over the last couple of years.
"They're going somewhere," said Elmer Curry, parent.
There were 266 students from Northwestern and Southwestern who walked across the stage with their diploma in hand.
Superintendent Bilal Tawwab said the journey to that day didn't come easy.
"You have struggled to your place on the mountain top. You have had the light of the nation and the world poured onto your community, Tawwab said.
The class of 2016 witnessed first-hand the government's failures that lead to the water crisis.
"As you face the challenges yet to confront you, you have the strength of experience," Tawwab said.
The students admitted the crisis made them stronger.
"Tonight shows that even though Flint, we're going through something, we can all come together and have a good moment with each other," Phifer-Lyons said.
Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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