First State School held a graduation celebration to recognize a major milestone in the lives of five of its students.
Addressing the students and faculty, Christiana Care Health System trustee Stephen Mockbee told the graduates that they have a “competitive edge” over their peers in mainstream schools because of the challenges and obstacles that they have had to endure to rise above their illness in order to be successful in their academics and personal growth. Mockbee is a business leader, philanthropist, donor and recipient of the 2012 Charles J. Harrington Trustee Award.
Maria Mockbee, Stephen’s wife, provided a heartfelt story about her own son, who suffered from cancer during his high school career but rose above his illness and is now a successful physician.
The First State School gives children and adolescents who might otherwise be homebound with serious illnesses the chance to attend school with their peers while they get the medical treatment they need. Located at Wilmington Hospital, First State School offers kindergarten through high-school education to children with diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, severe asthma, cancer and other illnesses.
The program is the first of its kind and one of only three in operation nationwide. It is co-sponsored by Christiana Care and the Delaware Department of Education through the Red Clay School District.
In July, the First State School will celebrate its 30th anniversary.