Graduating seniors from New Britain High School walked across the stage on Thursday. They were the first of four groups having a socially-distanced graduation ceremony at Willow Brook Park.
“I’m very excited,” said Victor Bayron, a graduating senior. “I never thought I could make it this far, but I’ve always had people supporting me and surrounding me to keep going and push harder.”
Family members like Bayron’s were even more crucial at a time when students were forced to leave the classroom and switch to virtual learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a difficult adjustment for some.
“I grew bonds with a lot of the teachers. So it was kind of more difficult. And I’m a hands-on learning type of person and it wasn’t the same,” said Denija Carter, a graduating senior.
But it made walking across the stage on Thursday that much sweeter, even if their family members were cheering them on from inside their cars.
“Crossing the stage is a big milestone so I’m just glad all my family could be here,” said Ja-Zion Castro, a graduating senior. “Thanks to my mom, she put this whole idea together,” Castro said, referring to the balloons and large sign on the front of a pickup.
“I would have loved to have been able to sit and cheer from a different angle, but this is great. I’m very thankful to the mayor, the superintendent, the governor for allowing this to happen,” said Darcel Carter, Denija’s aunt.