High school class of 2020 finally gets a grad night at USF

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — University of South Florida graduations are underway, with three ceremonies held Friday and a whole lot of college students strolling throughout stage to simply accept their honors.

This week, there have additionally been a number of protests on campus and a few had been fearful the protests would possibly disrupt commencement.

Friday, two college students held up a pro-Palestinian flag, nevertheless it was shortly confiscated by University officers.

Many of the scholars graduating this week graduated excessive school in 2020 at the peak of the pandemic.

As a outcome, they didn’t get to have a regular excessive school commencement. A truth not misplaced on USF President Rhea Law.

“This marks your first in person graduation since the onset of the global pandemic,” mentioned Law, as she addressed the graduates and their households.

For USF Student Mattie Zeigler, graduating excessive school in 2020 was not the expertise she hoped for.

“It was sad,” she mentioned. “I felt like I worked really hard and I was always looking forward to graduating. I was in all of these societies and I had all of these chords and then obviously COVID happened.”

For these college students, COVID didn’t simply take away their graduations, it utterly modified their excessive school expertise.

“So much got ripped apart from us,” Alexis Aponte mentioned. “We didn’t have our prom, didn’t get to do graduation, didn’t get to do any of our grad bashes.”

So for the scholars at Friday’s commencement, the occasion was occasion extra particular.

“Oh, it’s super important, and I was looking very forward to having this and when I started USF, it was still kind of in COVID times, everything was still in lock down, and I was very worried that we would never be opened back up and have commencements like this, so I’m very excited that it’s actually happening,” Zeigler mentioned.

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