WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Graduates of the Winston-Salem Street School have broken several barriers in their lives, including being the largest graduating class in the school’s history.

27 now-former students walked across the stage at the first Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem to accept their diplomas and face new challenges.

Mike Foster, executive director of Winston-Salem Street School, said the graduates represent the largest class to walk across the stage since the school opened its doors in 2004.

“For the first time, been at full capacity at the street school, which is something new for us, kind of uncharted territory, and it was evident tonight that was our largest graduating class we’ve ever had,” Foster said.

The Street School serves high school students in Forsyth County that have not found success in the public school system.

Many students have had behavioral issues, mental health issues, anxiety, bullying, becoming teen parents, poverty and broken homes.

Foster said the school allows each student to get a second chance at earning their high school diploma and beginning a clean slate in life.

Hannah King said her life changed at 18, and life choices, unfortunately, forced her to leave the school.

“I dropped out in 2018-2019, basically had more focus paying bills than getting my high school diploma,” King said.

Three years later, she inspired her fellow graduates through poems and advised people who may be looking for another path to take.

“It’s been a long time coming. I’m just proud of myself, and I just want everybody to know whatever they are going through, whatever might push them down, get back up and keep moving,” King said.

Since 2004, over 260 students have not only graduated from the Street School but have received support with food and necessities along with preparation for life after high school.