Through the Eyes of a 2021 Senior

Article published at: May 21, 2021 Article author: Melynda Hensley
Through the Eyes of a 2021 Senior
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In honor of the upcoming 2021 graduation, we have asked our Senior, Rissa McDonald, to look back and give us her thoughts on the past year, her time at CFB, and her future aspirations. If you don't know Rissa, she's our sales associate, cashier, and model- I know you've seen her sweet face on our social media.

Rissa has been a valuable part of our team since she started. She shows intuitive and drive, which is hard to find in this generation. She's funny, smart, kind as well as a pretty face. Basically, this girl is a power house, and as much as we hate to see her leave at the end of the summer, we are comforted in the knowledge that this young lady is going to great things in her future. And we are blessed beyond measure to know her!

Without further ado, here's her story:

I don't think I've fully accepted the fact that I am graduating high school in less than two weeks. The thought of it is almost surreal, and the anticipation and delight of it is indescribable. I view high school graduation as one of the most early and significant transitions that one can go through in life, and to be able to reach that achievement and prepare for it is extremely rewarding as well as bittersweet. Ever since I was able to comprehend what "graduation" was in elementary school, it immediately game me ambition and served as a long term goal throughout my life. I've experienced several high school graduation ceremonies, and I can say I am beyond honored and proud to watch so many friends and family reach such a milestone in their lives. I am simply blessed to be experiencing it for myself right now.

I always try to find the beauty, positivity, and potential in the change of something, and the year of 2020-21 made that difficult. It's obvious and evident that Covid-19 is responsible for a global change in people's everyday lives and makes the year 2020 a rather noteworthy year. I can easily admit that the pandemic has personally affected my family and myself and introduced numerous, unexpected, and sudden changes of lifestyle. Throughout 2020, I've learned to adapt to changes in a way I never anticipated: to be more appreciative for what I already have; to be there for others in any way I can; and understand that they are adapting to changes, too. Cage-Free Boutique served as a new beginning and a change for me in 2020-21 as well and to be surrounded by some of the most kind-hearted, lively, imaginative, supportive, and fearless ladies I have ever met is something I will cherish forever. I give each of them thanks for all they have done, and still do, for me. 2020-21 has taught me how to be stronger and a bigger supporter of myself, and for that, I am thankful for the past year.

I am confident in the entire Rabun County High School graduating class of 2021, and I'm proud of us all for enduring such an unusual and, now, memorable year. There is a boundless number of family members, students, teachers, coaches, community members, friends, and even strangers that I can't thank enough for their individual impact at any point in my life that has continuously pushed me towards my goals, specifically my goal of graduating high school. 

                       -Rissa McDonald


We at Cage-Free can't wait to see what the future holds for this amazing young lady! Rissa, there's nothing you cannot achieve once you set your mind to it, and it has been an honor and a privilege to have you with us. The sky is the limit! Congratulations on the success of all your hard work, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for you. And please know you always have a place here at Cage-Free and in our hearts, forever & always!


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