Imagine visiting the State House for the first time and finding you and your friends are featured in a State of the Commonwealth speech by Gov. Deval Patrick. That’s just what happened to Fabieny DePina on Thursday night.
Brockton High School students praised by Gov. Deval Patrick for their public service said they had no idea they would be such a big part of his State of the Commonwealth address.
“We were told there was a possibility that we’d be in it, but we had no idea he would say so much,” said Fabieny DePina, a junior at Brockton High. “It’s really amazing.”
DePina, along with senior Amber Gordon, found out Thursday morning that they had been invited to the State House to hear the speech.
The students are part of a group called Boxer Buddies that pairs special needs students from the Brockton school system with high school students. The name comes from the school’s sports teams’ name, the Boxers.
In his speech, Patrick recalled visiting the high school last spring and attending a meeting where student council members pitched Boxer Buddies idea.
“These young people didn’t sit around,” he said. “They found a need and met it. They have built a better, stronger community.”
Although Gordon and DePina are proud of Boxer Buddies, they were still surprised it was featured in Patrick’s speech.
“I was really so shocked,” said Gordon, who joined her principal, Susan Szachowicz and teachers Dianne Tarmey and Mary Collins for a dinner courtesy of State Sen. Tom Kennedy, D- Brockton.