SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Nine students graduated from the LifeScape Specialty School in Sioux Falls on Wednesday. The graduation ceremony was held Wednesday night with a celebration and reception that followed. One student and her parents looked back on her accomplishments while they celebrated the big milestone.
Jon Meyer and Laura Turnbow are so proud of their daughter, Erica Turnbow-Meyer.
"Today means everything to me. She's graduating, which means that is something that she wanted and we knew she could do it," Laura said.
Erica started attending LifeScape at the age of 12. Laura said she's achieved so much since then.
"When she first came, she was very limited on what you could understand her saying," Laura said, "And now, I mean, I'm so proud of her because it's very hard, but if you listen carefully, you can understand everything that she's saying."
Each graduate had their own table set up to show off some of their achievements for family, friends and LifeScape staff. Erica had quite a few exciting moments to talk about, like winning gold medals in weight lifting for Special Olympics.
"She's come out of her shell because she was so embarrassed and shy, and now I just see total blossom with the speech and her talking and making friends," Laura said.
"They say you can look forward to it, but until it finally gets here, it's reality. It's an awesome thing," Jon said. "She's grown into a beautiful young lady."
And they're excited for what's ahead.
"Her mom and I are both very proud. It's kind of an emotional day, but it's our daughter and you know, who wouldn't be?" he said.
One of Erica's favorite things to do is volunteer for a Sioux Falls salon. Erica will continue her education that's more career-oriented to find out what she wants to do for work.