Senior Corey Bruce the first in his family to graduate |

Senior Corey Bruce the first in his family to graduate

Ben Bulkeley
Corey Bruce intends to attend Colorado Northwestern Community College and study power plant technologies.
Hans Hallgren

If Corey Bruce is excited, it’s for good reason.

Today, he will don cap and gown and receive his high school diploma, becoming the first in his family to do so.

And that has the senior ecstatic.

“I’m happy, relieved,” he said. “I’m really excited to be somewhere new that isn’t school.”

Bruce will attend Colorado Northwestern Community College this fall in Craig, as he embarks on his career of working in a power plant.

“It’s going to be different,” Corey said. “I’m going to have to get a job, get a place to live, pay the bills.”

Getting to the finishing line took a gentle nudge from his parents, he said.

“My parents pushed me hard,” he said. “(They) kept me going.”

Kristie Bruce, Corey’s mother, said she offered her son constant encouragement as he made his march toward graduation.

“We kept reminding him of when he would be done – ‘Only three months, only two months,'” she said. “And now it’s over.”

If there’s someone as excited as Corey, it’s Kristie.

“It’s just totally awesome,” Kristie said. ‘We’re so proud of him – it’s indescribable.”

For Corey, not finishing high school was merely a brief thought, and nothing more.

“A couple of times,” he said. “Especially in the last few weeks. I’ve been worried about my grades.

“But, I’m not worrying any more.”

He said he couldn’t see himself not getting his diploma.

“There might have been a time, but I couldn’t have gone through with it,” he said. “Because then I would have had that feeling of not accomplishing something important.

“I just kept pushing through.”

His work ethic, his ability to keep pushing through, has always been impressive to his father, Michael Bruce.

“I remember when he was 15, he said he was going to get a job,” Michael said. “He went out, came back with an application, filled it out and brought it back. I don’t think he missed a single day in his 2 1/2 years working.”

Michael, who later received his GED, said Corey’s upbringing was unlike his own.

“The leash is a little tighter,” he said. “It’s more of a family atmosphere. Here, people care about the report card you bring home.”

Michael said having a diploma is more important now than when he was in high school.

He said he had to get his diploma later because of family issues but was glad to see his son get his on time.

“We can’t even say how proud we are,” he said.

Corey said he found school enjoyable because of his friends.

Not being around his friends will be the hardest part of leaving MCHS.

“That’s what I’ll miss the most,” he said. “Now, if I want to see someone, I’ll have to call them. I can’t just run in to them in the halls.”

Corey said he wished he had applied himself more in school.

“Sometimes, I wish I had concentrated more on my grades, on my GPA,” he said. “It would have been nice to have other options available.

“I was always more interested in having fun. I was never about having my nose in a book.”

As a child, Corey would pull apart toys and sometimes put them back together, Kristie said. It was his desire to see how things worked that made him an apt student, she said.

“He’s always been more hands-on,” she said. “But, he’s a good teacher, a good learner because he catches on so quickly.”

On Wednesday afternoon, after all his finals were completed, Corey said he was looking forward to several months without worrying about homework.

“The weight has been lifted,” he said. “It’s kind of a nice feeling, feeling success.”

As he moves to the next step in his life, Corey doesn’t know what to expect.

“It’s kind of scary – not knowing what you’re going to do,” Corey said. “It’s all spontaneous after this, and I think I’m ready for it.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User