Some high school graduates spent commencement day collecting their diplomas and celebrating with family and friends.
Niko Love spent his taking orders from superiors and learning how to be a good Marine at the recruit depot in Parris Island, S.C.
He was allowed to graduate early from Thomas Worthington High School so he could report for boot camp earlier in the spring. Love had enlisted in a delayed-entry program in June 2012. But when the Marines say it is time to go, you go.
On June 7, two weeks after his classmates graduated from high school, Love graduated from basic training in Parris Island.
On June 10, he was able to attend the Worthington Board of Education meeting, with family, friends and school officials gathered to commend him, thank him and give him a standing ovation.
"It has been wonderful to see this young man grow up," said Julie King, assistant principal at Thomas Worthington.
Love entered Thomas Worthington as a freshman and worked hard to keep up with the rigorous curriculum, she said.
"Thomas Worthington was a lot harder than boot camp," Love told the board.
In November, Love was the key guide and mentor for the Marines from World War II who were participating in a Veterans Day program at the school. He also was a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House and worked at the Lutheran Social Services food bank.