A high school senior who’s joining the Marines thought he was going to have to miss his graduation ceremony because he’s heading to boot camp, but his school let him graduate before the rest of his class. Hipolito Garcia is leaving for Parris Island for Marine Corp boot camp the day before his school, Hackensack High School in New Jersey, has graduation, so they let him put on his cap and gown during their dress rehearsal to get his diploma in front of family, friends, and classmates.
The teen immigrated with his parents and siblings to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 2017 and barely could speak English. 18 months later he is one of the top English students in his class, he also got a job so he could pay for his Grandparents care, and then went on to graduate with a 3.8 GPA. Hipolito wanted to join the Marines because "the greatest nation on the planet needs protecting and I can't think of a better way to thank America than to be willing to die for it". The assistant principal Patricia Lozano explains “Hipolito sacrificed a lot, and it’s a good example for our students to see this. Sometimes we don’t get rewarded for all the struggles and challenges we have, so we wanted to show them how hard work pays off.”