PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to create a new normal for graduations and celebrations, the Pittsburgh Promise honored their senior class Saturday.
The nonprofit works with Pittsburgh Public Schools works to promote higher education. The group made sure the young adults have a plan for their future while they celebrated their success today.
Instead of claps, it was car horns to applaud the 2020 class of the Pittsburgh Promise.
“It’s really cool that everyone came out here today to celebrate,” Taylor Allderdice graduate Sofia Germinaro said.
A couple hundred cars filled the parking lots outside the PPG Paints Arena as the Pittsburgh Promise held their annual senior signing day. It honors the students for being college and career ready. It still wanted to celebrate the students after they had parts of their year robbed from them.
“The priority of celebrating their plans and assuring they have one is still a high priority,” Pittsburgh Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril said.
“I couldn’t get the memories you want to share and the photos and opportunities like a normal student would,” Carrick graduate Christiana Beavers said.
“I’m grateful. I’m happy I still get to have something,” Obama Academy graduate Noah Butts said.
It had to be a little different this year with people staying in their cars to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It’s sad that we didn’t have a real graduation, but we had the parade in Schenley Park and this is really cool. It’s pretty exciting,” Germinaro said.
Speakers included Pittsburgh Promise Board Chair Franco Harris and a video message from Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin. More than 150 institutions of higher learning were announced for where seniors plan to attend.
After the ceremony, the graduates were given free bedding to prepare them for the next journey in life.
“I’m happy I’m excited about going to Akron. Finally going to college next chapter in my journey,” Butts said.
“We’re both going to the same college at IUP,” Carrick graduate Gabriella Dalvrny saidl
“I’m going to Loyola Maryland,” Germinaro said.
For those, who don’t have any plans, the Pittsburgh Promise wants to help them.
“We have people in place who can coach them and walk them through the process of making a plan,” Ghubril said.