WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Putting on a cap and gown will bring a flood of emotions for Northside High senior Azavian Bray.
"It's probably going to go straight to my dad," he said. "It's been a long fight to get to this spot."
His dad won't be in the stands on Graduation Day, but Bray sees him in everything he does, especially through his music.
"He exposed me to music at a young age and I just fell in love with it," said Bray. "I miss him. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him."
His father died from from COVID complications in April 2021. Bray was quarantined with the virus himself and never got to say goodbye.
"I was literally in my room alone. I felt alone. It was definitely an emotional wreck," he said.
Bray didn't just lose a father, but a best friend.
"He essentially was a life coach and he just guided me through everything," said Bray.
He took all those life lessons from his dad and made a promise to himself.
"He said to learn something new every day," he recalled. "Another one was whatever you put your mind to or dedicate yourself to, be the best at it."
So, Bray dedicated himself to his education, his family, and his passion for music.
"I know he valued my education and keeping my grades up. He started me on that path and I just know that if he was here, it would be the same expectations," he said.
Bray will not only graduate with honors, he is headed to Fort Valley State University on a band scholarship.
"Turning that tassel is going to be a big achievement for me. I'm really just going to cherish that moment."
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