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Monterey County

Schools prepare for 2021 graduation ceremonies

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CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) After a year of online instruction, colleges prepare to recognize its graduating class.

Students across the country and the Central Coast were not able to participate in the traditional in-person graduation last year due to the pandemic. However, schools are looking for alternative ways to recognize this year's class.

"Graduation and commencement, are milestones in people's growth in their careers and their continuing education," said CSUMB's Public Information Officer Walter Ryce. " And we're looking to celebrate this with students."

This year, CSU Monterey Bay will be having a car-mencement. More than a thousand graduating students have registered to participate in the drive-through graduation parade. Karla Ramirez said, she is excited about the finish line despite not having her ideal graduation day.

"I am glad that at least we're getting you something, because I do have like, friends who graduated last year, and they didn't get that," said Ramirez. "I would have been fine. If it would have just been like me, being able to walk just like a walk the stage. But, I understand that we have to be safe and we have to take the precaution."

Graduating students from Hartnell College in Salinas are being offered a virtual ceremony but will also be offered recognition in person. However, this event is for students only. They will have the opportunity to wear their caps and gowns, hear their names get called, and have their photos taken. Victoria Valdez is one of the students who will participate and she said she is glad to hear Hartnell is taking the extra step to recognize their hard work.

"Everyone says like that walk across the stage like that's the moment and although my family won't be there, I'll still be walking across the stage," said Valdez. "That means something like it means I made it through, and I'm graduating."

Hartnell will have three ceremony sessions where a total of 270 students will be able to participate.
However, if all 270 slots are filled, a fourth session will be considered.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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