PASADENA, Texas – One local family honored their beloved daughter in a graduation ceremony Tuesday night, little more than 5 months after she died in a tragic car wreck. Isaac and Charisse Oliver are determined to keep their daughter’s legacy alive through her story, hard work and their family scholarship in their daughter’s name.
Tuesday evening at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Pasadena, parents and students of the Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School gathered for a socially distant graduation ceremony. The entire school honored 18-year-old Destani Oliver by wearing butterfly pins.
In February, Destani’s life was taken in a tragic car wreck.
“I’m very proud. She was very smart,” said Destani’s mother, Charisse Oliver.
She was a National Honor Society student, graduating with honors. She was also on her way to Texas Southern University to double major in Speech Therapy and Surgical Tech. Before she passed, Destani studied cosmetology and loved her craft.
“When she was focused on something she went for it. It inspired me, and when I saw that I had to help her keep that going,” said dad, Issac Oliver.
Isaac Oliver would often make bets with his daughter who always followed through with a determined but playful spirit to win.
Tuesday night, Isaac Oliver proudly described Destani’s accolades and Charisse Oliver wore her daughter’s graduation regalia.
“She was my baby girl but she was all of our Destani,” Issac Oliver said.
The school allowed Destani’s parents to walk across the stage in her place — a moment that meant so much to the family.
“She wanted to be draped up — so guess what? Mom’s going to be draped up for her,” Charisse Oliver laughed.
This very special graduation was just one way Destani’s story lives on. Her family also created a scholarship in her name.
“It’s called ‘Your Destani Awaits’ — and we’ve actually awarded three kids,” Charisse Oliver said.
The family hopes that their beloved Destani empowers others.
“I’m sure she’ll be proud of us. I know she will,” Charisse Oliver said.