PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hundreds of Pittsburgh Public Schools 2020 graduates received their diplomas today. For many, it’s not the graduation they envisioned but it’s one they’ll always remember.

There was joy and excitement at Pittsburgh Public Schools Creative and Performing Arts School Monday. There were 138 students who received their diplomas, and for most of them, it hasn’t been an easy change.

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“It’s very different, it’s not what I expected throughout my life, because I’ve always dreamed of walking across an actual stage,” said Mia Bennett, a CAPA 2020 graduate.

Many of the CAPA students are used to being on stage and making that human connection. But for now, the pandemic has put a stop to that and forced them, like so many other students, to think creatively.

“It’s just amazing how fast we went from March 13th to here and honestly this embodies the CAPA spirit and the CAPA school,” said Antonio Ambrogio, another CAPA 2020 graduate.

There were smiles, dancing and even a DJ playing music. Underclassmen, teachers and administrators wanted to make sure their 2020 graduates feel accomplished.

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“Make sure they’re having a great time, and know that we love them we miss them, we’re celebrating them. I mean, they need to be celebrated,” said CAPA Principal Melissa Pearlman.

“Things may not have gone according to plan but we still always have a good time and find a way to make it work,” said Ambrogio.

The students had a virtual ceremony last night. One, some say, was bittersweet.

“I got to meet up with the rest of my classmates afterwards at Schenley Park and we just had fun and talked a bit and got to mingle around and see each other one last time probably,” said Bennett.

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At least seven other high schools within Pittsburgh Public will continue to hand out diplomas tomorrow.