By Lucy May, WCPO
Stephen Rogers couldn’t help but smile as dozens of strangers cheered for him inside a sweltering steel fabrication workshop.
Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell, Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s minority affairs representative Ronald Todd and former Cincinnati Reds great George Foster were among the dignitaries in attendance.
They were all there to celebrate Stephen, a 2019 graduate of Shroder High School and the lone 2019 graduate of Journey Steel’s Soaring Impact program.
"It was more than enough. I got the point," Stephen said afterwards as his dad stood nearby, wiping away tears. "It was lovely. I couldn’t have traded it for the world."
Journey's Soaring Impact is a pre-apprenticeship program that aims to teach high school students about being an ironworker. Journey Steel started the program in 2016.