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Al Roker Celebrates Son Nick’s High School Graudation: ‘We Are Sooo Proud’

Deborah Roberts/Instagram

Al Roker Celebrates Son Nick’s High School Graudation: ‘We Are Sooo Proud’

By Movieguide® Contributor

More than 20 years ago, Al Roker and his wife Deborah Roberts faced a painful infertility journey.

After a consultation with their fertility doctor, Deborah said, “Let’s try it on our own just one more time. If it’s meant to be, then God will make it happen.”

God then brought them the miracle of their daughter Leila, followed by their son, Nick.

“Leila was a walking miracle. We wanted to tell the world. We were just as thrilled when her brother, Nick, was born, four years later. He too was an answer to prayer—like all children—but we knew right from the beginning that he would be up against a whole different set of challenges. He wasn’t developing as fast as he should have, not holding our fingers as tightly, not always meeting our gaze, not as quick to crawl. At three, he hardly talked and could barely walk,” Roker wrote of his son Nick.

“Doctors and specialists put him through a slew of tests. Was it cerebral palsy? Autism? Maybe it was a processing disorder,” Roker said. “…I can tell you that, yes, he’s somewhere on the spectrum and maybe obsessive-compulsive. But those labels can be frustrating; they don’t begin to describe who Nick really is.”

Nick really thrived at the family’s church:

St. James does a good job of getting kids involved. There are sermons for kids, children’s choirs, Sunday school, playgroups, a Christmas pageant with parts for everybody as well as that corps of acolytes. On Sundays when I was feeling really down about Nick—wondering where our son would find his place in this world—I found it a comfort to note that some of the acolytes also had special needs. One performed his duties in a wheelchair; another had Down syndrome.

Nick watched and wanted to join them. And the folks who oversaw the acolytes were happy to have him.

I have seen how kids’ minds seem to wander during worship—I’ll admit mine does too sometimes. Truth be told, Deborah is really the spiritual shepherd of our family flock. I tend to bolt after church to do grocery shopping while Deb mingles with our congregation.

But ever since he’s become an acolyte, Nick has the clearest focus, Sunday after Sunday. Those qualities that you might think would hold him back are exactly the ones that drive him forward. If I thought tae kwon do was all about form and purpose, so is this. Lighting the candles, carrying a torch, holding up the Bible for the lesson to be read and marching down the center aisle with the cross, concentrating on that altar. On Sundays he serves the Lord.

Now, Nick is a high school graduate, a milestone both parents proudly celebrated on Instagram.

“And just like that! Nick Roker: High School graduate from the [Aaron School],” Roker captioned his post. “We are sooo proud of this young man.”

Deborah added, “What a day this had been! A heart full of joy and gratitude! Happy graduation day Nick Roker. Your village has never failed!”

Roker reflected on the moment while appearing on the TODAY SHOW. 

“It was difficult. We’re so proud of him, all the work he’s done, the people who have helped him along the way. It literally does take a village,” he shared. “It was a terrific moment and he’s put in so much hard work and I’m just so very proud of this young man.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Nick’s journey: 

NBC meteorologist Al Roker recently celebrated his son, Nick, after the 19-year-old preached a sermon at St. James Church.

“I wanted to share just a small part of our son, Nick’s, sermon today at church,” Roker wrote in a caption of a video posted to his 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,” Roker added.

The video clip featured a section of Nick’s sermon where he expressed his thankfulness for learning and success, despite his learning disability.

“Today, I am 19 years old and about to graduate high school,” Nick shared. “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,” he added. “I have always felt loved and supported here. I am happy and feel accomplished after each service…I feel empowered here and welcome. I am accepted here for who I am.”