Graduates of Glendale Unified's alternative education programs — Daily High School, Verdugo Academy and AdvancePath Academy — came from different places and for different reasons.
And they all celebrated commencement Friday with variations of the same theme.
"I learned so much, and my personality changed," said Artur Avetisyan, an AdvancePath graduate.
"At Hoover [High School] I was a gangster-wannabe, and now I'm just a regular guy, trying to go to college and make some money for the future."
Daily High graduate Daniel Huerres said it was the best day of his life.
"Daily is where amazing happens," he said. "They gave me a second chance."
Daily High and AdvancePath rely on small, structured classes where students can recover lost credit, but Verdugo Academy is an independent study where students meet with teachers at least one day a week.