PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In the Carnegie Science Center parking lot on Saturday morning, seniors from Pittsburgh Public Schools put their pandemic problems and grade school educations in the rearview mirror.

“It was a little rough. But I had to make it through, get my good grades,” said Atasia Little from Allderdice High School. “It’s important to me to get my good grades and stuff and get everything together so I could go to school basically for free.”

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Drive-in style, Pittsburgh Promise Senior Signing Day celebrated students planning on pursuing higher education through the Pittsburgh Promise.

The program helps provide scholarships, provided students keep up with grades, schoolwork, and attendance.

“Hopefully more kids will take advantage of it and know what the requirements are early on so you can stay on track,” said Angela Johnson, a parent in attendance.

While this was a challenging school year, with hybrid and remote learning, they were able to persevere.

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“You’ve shown resilience, focus, commitment, and unrelenting drive,” said Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet in an address to the students.

It was that resilience, focus, and commitment that helped dodge a derailment.

“It was tough, online it’s not as easy,” said John May of the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy.

“It was very difficult at first but after you got into the swing of it, it became easier to handle and you could manage everything better,” said Talia Johnson from Obama Academy.

Steelers first-round draft pick Najee Harris was the special guest speaker at Saturday’s event.

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Students also received free bedding for their campus dorm rooms as part of the event.