• Jamie Thrasher

"We Started A Journey," A Graduation Poem from 2022 Grad Jamie Thrasher

This year, we're inviting everyone to join us in celebrating Clemente graduates across the globe. Below, learn about Springfield graduate Jamie Thrasher in her own words, and read the graduation poem she wrote to share with her classmates!


My name is Jamie Lee Thrasher and I am a Clemente graduate of 2022. I am a mom of 5, grandmother to one and 31 years old. I joined Clemente at a local community event run by my mother in law and had the pleasure of meeting Brenda Hill. She introduced me to the program and followed up with me for weeks talking me through all of my concerns and helping me decide if this was the right choice for me.


I am so inexplicably happy that she did. This program came into my life at a time that I had no idea where I was heading or what I wanted as a career. Also due to Covid as a combination social butterfly/introvert I was feeling alone and under-stimulated. But having my classmates meet me in my room every Monday and Wednesday subdued the loneliness. Especially as we began to share our stories and our everyday issues.


By the end of my courses I made so many new friends and connections I never thought would be possible and my future goals are now a little more clear. Even now after graduation, the opportunities are still presenting themselves to me.


I came in not knowing where I was going and I am on my way out knowing I am a writer, I am creative, and I can make a difference in my community.

Through my classmates' support, I have started a manuscript that I hope one day will be a book I can be proud of and share with so many others. I can never thank the Clemente Program enough for the impact they have had on me and my future.


Mateo Gonzalez, Odyssey Project graduate, Chicago
Jamie Thrasher

We Started a Journey

By Jamie Thrasher


We started a journey

Unknowing the outcome

Looking for more education

But we found so much more

Together we found a family

We found a truly deep bond

With each class discussion

We began to not only see ourselves

We saw each other

Whether the topic was heated or happy

Every answer was celebrated or acknowledged

Our difference in age had no effect

A hardship was shared amongst us

And the support was endless

Our bond was built in a tumble of various classes


In creative writing

We learned not only how to write

But how to write with passion and power

And we really got to see everyone

As a writer, a student, and a person


In Philosophy

We learned where our morals stand

We learned to question our view points

And each other

And we grew together as a group


In History

We learned our true history

It opened so many doors and questions

And again together we learned and grew


In Literature Class

We learned we all have dysfunctional families

Within each story we saw all sides

Of the stories and of each other


In Art History

We learned there's always more to see

There’s always a rhyme and reason

And sometimes deep dives are called for

Because here your interpretation matters!


What a road we have traveled

Which ended not at a destination

But to more open road

Where we hopefully find

Our passions and explore them more

Where we hopefully find

our next destination

That brings us closer to who we want to be

But I hope theses roads intersect

And we find our way back to each other

This isn’t just a graduating class

This is the Clemente Family of 2022

And I am proud of each and every one of us


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