Normally, this time of year is full of celebration and smiles. Seniors are holding their graduations and taking pictures with their friends and families. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year has been quite a bit different.
“I had all my credits towards the end of my junior year. So I could have walked with the class of 2019, but I opted to walk with the class of 2020 because those are all of my friends and then all of this happened so it’s kinda like, should I have walked last year,” said Zachary Goldstein, a senior at North Fort Myers High School.
Instead of walking across the stage this year, he’s sitting on the family couch in his cap and gown. But nevertheless, his family is proud. “I’m just very proud of him. I just wish that he had the graduation that he should be having,” said his mother, Cindy Goldstein.
They’re doing their best to make it as real as possible.
“You know, someone yelling his name while he walks across the stage. We’ve all seen that with our graduations,” said his father, Jason.
This is usually a time when memories are being made, but the coronavirus took away the opportunity to make those with Zachary’s friends.
“It’s supposed to be a celebration with his class, and it’s just us in the house,” said Cindy.
The family is trying to keep the glass half full mentality by saying a virtual ceremony is better than no ceremony. “It’s still good to be recognized for all the work that I’ve put in,” said Zachary.
The family is still hoping for in-person graduation sometime in the future, and they hope Zachary’s first year at UCF is a lot more normal than his senior year of high school.
Other Lee County schools are having graduations through Sunday.