Nick Roker addressed the congregation at New York’s St. James’ Church in a moment that left his parents “bursting with pride.”
Al Roker’s son will soon set off to college, but the 19-year-old won’t just be moving away from home when he kicks off campus life.
He’ll also be moving away from the church he’s grown up in.
On Sunday, Nick Roker stood at the pulpit of New York’s St. James’ church and delivered a personal sermon that earned cheers from the congregation and pride from his parents.
“I wanted to share just a small part of our son, Nick’s, sermon today at church,” Al wrote alongside a clip he posted to Instagram. “I could not be prouder of who he is and what he has accomplished. His parents are proud and I know his grandparents are looking down and are even prouder.”
In the brief video, Nick spoke about the challenges and achievements that led him to this moment.
“Today I am 19 years old and about to graduate high school,” he said. “I have a learning disability, and I have worked extra hard to get to this point. This last semester, I earned all ‘A’s on my report card. It feels really good, but my accomplishments haven’t all been about school. They have also been about perseverance here at St. James.”
Nick, who’s on the autism spectrum, explained that while school life was difficult at times, church never seemed that way.
“I have always felt loved and supported here,” he said. “I am happy and feel accomplished after each service. … I feel empowered here and welcome. I am accepted here for who I am.”
As far as leaving for college goes, Nick admitted he’s “a little nervous.” But he noted, “I’m also excited.” “I’m going to miss St. James and all that I have done here, but I’ll still have this experience in my heart,” he added. “And when I come back home, I plan to come back to church.”