Va. Budget Standoff — There’s a standoff in Richmond as the 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats in the state Senate remain evenly divided over the state’s two-year budget. Democrats say their opposition stems from the budget’s inadequate funding for public education, transportation and health care. Republicans, meanwhile, are accusing Democrats of obstructionism and “Washingtonian behavior.” The budget needs at least 21 votes to pass. The last vote was 20-19. [Washington Post, Washington Times]
High School Graduation Date Moved — The graduation date for Arlington public high schools is now Wednesday, June 20. The date was switched from the 21st because the graduation venue, DAR Constitution Hall, was not available that day. The last day of school was also moved back a day, to Tuesday, June 19. [Arlington Public Schools]
Arlington Au Pair Recognized — An au pair from Arlington has been named the winner of the national ‘Ultimate Au Pair’ contest. AuPairCare, an agency that places international au pairs with host families in the U.S., says they selected Mariana Moujan, of Buenos Aires, as the Ultimate Au Pair “for her compassion and dedication to the Edwards family in Arlington, Virginia.”
Newly-minted high school graduate Rachel Wilburn was a two-time high school dropout with a kid and another on the way when she entered the Langston High School Continuation Program. This morning, she was given the honor of addressing about 150 fellow Langston and Arlington Mill high school continuation graduates at the Washington-Lee auditorium.
“Despite everything that has come our way, there is a voice in our unconscious minds that said ‘I will not give up on myself,’” she said. “I thank God for giving us the strength to make it through this.”
Wilburn credited her parents, her husband and her parents-in-law with helping her to find Langston and make it through the teen parenting program. With their support, she even achieved perfect attendance in her third trimester.
Wilburn said she now plans to attend college to study business and human resource, so that she can give her kids “the best possible future.”
For Arlington Mill graduate Joel Diaz, who turned 21 today, going back to high school in his 20s was “embarrassing.” But, he said, he was able to overcome that initial trepidation and thrive.
“After I began going to Arlington Mill… I realized that a lot of us, we’re just different. We all have different stories, we’re all on different paths, we all have different goals,” he said. “Going through this has made me a stronger person. Our paths do not have to define our future.”
“I have been waiting for this day so long,” Diaz continued. “I hope you realize that this is not the end but the beginning.”
More photos, after the jump. (more…)