And already there was a job waiting for him after graduating. He was going to start working this week.
Instead, on Monday evening, his mother walked on to the commencement ceremony stage and accepted her son’s diploma.
“That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a mother,” Baird said.
She will be joined by family and friends at her son’s burial today in Waverly.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the crash, which saw the driver and another passenger taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Kristen AbuDakar, director of the Fairfield Twp. Butler Tech campus, described Leaker as “a good kid, who worked hard to meet all his graduation requirements and was loved by his fellow classmates.”
While attending Butler Tech, his co-op work at a Monroe company had impressed management enough to offer him a full-time position.
Mike Schwarz, co-owner of Tri-State Coating and Repair in Monroe, said Leaker was going to join the company full-time after finishing his school internship.
“Brayden was anxious to get going on his career. He was a hard worker and those who worked with him had nothing but positive feedback on him,” Schwarz said.
AbuDakar said Leaker, who loved to fish, work on cars and go four-wheeling, “was one of those students who didn’t have an enemy and no one was a stranger.”
“He was polite and hoped be a father one day,” she said.