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President Biden honors UK graduate

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Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 7:21 PM CST
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DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WFIE) - President Joe Biden honored a Dawson Springs young woman who graduated from University of Kentucky Friday.

Abby Parker says she’s headed to Lexington, but her heart will be at home in Dawson Springs.

“I’ve been crying for days. When you look around, because I grew up here I lived here my whole life, you know where everybody lives and who everybody is so to drive down those same streets and see all those houses gone, all those buildings gone it’s just heartbreaking,” said Parker.

Her Alma Mater, Dawson Springs High School, has turned into a donation site for people in need. Parker’s been helping there all week because her apartment is gone.

She took shelter at her parents house, which thankfully didn’t take as big of a hit.

“We were able to salvage a lot of my clothes and stuff, but all my furniture and all the little decorations and stuff were gone.”

During President Joe Biden’s Wednesday visit to Dawson Springs, he called Parker up to the podium to honor her for a big graduation achievement.

“Abby is here, and we’re going to figure something special for her graduation day. Imagine that, this Friday, she graduates from UK,” said President Biden.

“It was super cool. My nana actually told him that I was graduating. He gave me a big hug, and he actually had me write down my phone number because he said he was going to do something special for my graduation, which is really awesome,” said Parker.

As big as her accomplishment of graduation is, she says she’d rather be home helping.

“It’s not necessary that I go, but my parents really want me to go. So I’m gonna go up there anyways, because they say I’ll regret it later, which I probably would. So I’ll go, but my heart is still gonna be here it’s all I’m gonna be thinking about,” said Parker.

The amount of donations at the school is overwhelming, but Parker isn’t surprised. She says their community knows how to come together during heartache.

“Just a couple weeks ago we lost one of our own Logan McKnight, so we were already kind of together after that, and then this happened. It’s just one thing after the other so to see everybody coming together and helping everybody has been really awesome.”

Abby is graduating with a liberal arts degree and hopes to go to graduate school to become a school counselor here in Dawson Springs.

She said Friday, the she spoke with the president over the phone, and she was sent a gift.

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