Graduating Austin-East seniors don caps, gowns to walk halls of Vine Middle

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Dressed in their caps and gowns, the soon-to-be graduates of Austin-East Magnet High School are counting down the days to their diploma.

But before they'll walk across the stage, they walked the halls of Vine Middle Magnet School.

As one chapter comes to an end for K'nori Bone, he went back to a place where it all began.

"It's a big flashback. I actually went to Vine and it brings back a lot of memories. I remember when I was in their shoes," he said.

But, this was much more than a walk down memory lane. For the middle school students who lined the hallways, it was a glimpse into their future.

"I feel like I could actually live up to my potential and become what I want to become because if they can do it I can do it, too. It doesn't matter what community, I feel like I can do great things in life if I just put my mind to it," said Jack Ndayisenga, an eighth grader at Vine.

"A lot of the kids in my class are going to go to Austin-East and they are going to be in the same situation one day where they are going to be graduating just like all these seniors that came through today," said Kayla Juhl, an eighth grader at Vine.

The soon-to-be graduates also took time to speak to students in their classrooms, answering questions and talking about overcoming obstacles.

"Just wanting to have too much fun and not being able to balance school doing what my friends wanted to do. But, I did it all through God," said Bone.

Next week, they'll close the book on their high school career. It's just in time for a new chapter to begin.

"It makes you think that sometimes if you try hard enough you can do anything you want to. It's very inspiring," said Ndayisenga.