WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Graduation day is a reminder of where you’ve been and where you’re headed. Joseph Crowder is graduating eighth grade from Roosevelt Middle School. His mom and brother are in the stands at Palm Beach Lakes High School, but not his dad.
Joseph became the man of the house in 2016 when he was a sixth grader. It’s when he started to go by Joseph instead of Jeremiah.
His dad, Joe, died after heart attack during a jog.
It’s when Joe’s fellow Boynton Beach police officers made a pact.
“We promised that we would always be at every major milestone that the kids wanted us to be at,” Officer Chris Schalk said in an interview. “So, we fulfill our promise every time.”
Graduation is a reminder of family, of commitment.
“It means he’s loved by many, many people that goes outside of our four walls of our house,” Bridgette Crowder, Joseph’s mom said.
“It feels good, it means they’re here for me,” Joseph said.
Joseph’s younger brother, Kaleb graduated recently. The police department made sure they were there as well.