BROOKLYN - Students who had been at risk to never receive their high school diplomas overcame all the obstacles to graduate Thursday.

Dozens of students graduated in Brownsville from Brooklyn Democracy Academy, which is a small high school for students who, for whatever reasons, didn't succeed at other high schools.

Of the 56 graduates, 35 are going to college in the fall and all of the remaining graduates have jobs lined up.

Shaquille Mclean was at two other high schools before he came to Brooklyn Democracy Academy.

He says he and his peers now live by the motto - it's not how you start, it's how you finish.