High School Grads On Entering Adulthood Amid Nationwide Protests And A Pandemic

Jun 11, 2020

We talk to members of the high school class of 2020 about what it’s like to enter adulthood amid nationwide protests and a pandemic.


Sandy Banks, columnist for the Los Angeles Times. (@SandyBanksLA)

Rafael Escoto, he is graduating from Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in New York. He plans on attending St. Lawrence University in New York.

Rohini Madhu, she is graduating from Green Hope High School in Cary, North Carolina. She plans on attending UNC-Chapel Hill.

Teoman Tezcan, he is graduating from Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California. Reporter at YR Media, a national network of young journalists and artists. He is considering a gap year before enrolling in college.

Antonio Frias, he is graduating from Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Tech High School in Los Angeles, California. He plans to enlist in the Marine Corps.

Cammi Tirico, she is graduating from Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She plans on attending Northwestern University in Illinois. Co-producer of Kids These Days, a new podcast from Michigan Radio and Community High School hosted by teens, about teens.

TaVonte Campbell, he is graduating from KIPP Collegiate High School in Memphis, Tennessee. He plans on attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

From The Reading List

Los Angeles Times: “Column: Once homeless, a student loses 100 pounds and fends off isolation with teachers’ help” — “High school senior Keith Wallick really wants to go to college. ‘I know I have to go to make myself better,’ he says.”

YR Media: “Decision Day: Gap Year or Zoom University?” — “A year ago, taking a gap year barely crossed my mind. But now, because of the coronavirus, I’m seriously considering it.”

Chalkbeat Tennessee: “COVID-19 upended their graduation plans. Listen to speeches from Memphis valedictorians.” — “Nadia Wallace was supposed to walk across a graduation stage on Saturday — a long-awaited moment to be made even sweeter by the fact she is the valedictorian and was selected to give the commencement speech at her Memphis high school.”

Chalkbeat Chicago: “Two marches, led by Chicago students and alumni, call for school policing changes” — “At two marches Thursday evening, one starting at a well-resourced North Side school and the other at a district office on the South Side, young people in Chicago called for removing city police from schools and reducing police budgets.”

MPR News: “‘A ray of hope’: As neighborhood rebuilds, south Minneapolis high school celebrates its seniors” — “As cleanup and rebuilding continued along Lake Street in Minneapolis on Saturday, cheers echoed out from the rooftop of nearby Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.”

WUSF Public Radio: “‘It’s Closure’: Graduation Marks End Of Traumatic High School Years For Parkland Shooting Survivor” — “Annabel Claprood waved and giggled at her computer screen as her name was called, donning a navy blue cap and gown for her virtual graduation from the small private school she transferred to halfway through junior year.”

Houston Chronicle: “At graduation, time to take a knee and make a stand” — “Zion Childress had a brief conversation with his parents before Saturday’s graduation ceremony for New Caney High School at Randall Reed Stadium.”

Ed Source: “Oakland students organize protest of George Floyd death, pleading to be heard” — “Students in the Bay Area are adding their voices to nationwide protests demanding an end to police brutality.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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