Class of 2020: Congratulations Ericka!

Congratulations, Class of 2020! COVID-19 upended your senior year and graduation celebrations. We want to recognize your hard work, perseverance and accomplishments amidst such unique challenges. Over the course of the next two weeks, we are highlighting high school graduates across King County. These seniors participated in either Youthsource or youth development programming supported by Best Starts for Kids. Thank you to the Institute for Community LeadershipTreehouseLifewireLambert HouseYouthsource and Young Women Empowered for empowering our scholars’ dreams! 

Congratulations Ericka

Ericka shares her perspective upon graduating during COVID-19

What challenges have you, your friends and/or family experienced because of COVID-19? Or, what about COVID-19 makes you feel most sad/confused/angry?

COVID-19 affected my employment, income and schooling. I was laid off of my two part-time jobs and didn’t have a steady income. This year was also my senior year. I go to a smaller school, so graduation and senior year is always more special. 

One thing that makes me most sad about COVID-19 is not being able to actually graduate in person. I was told my freshman year that I would be behind on credits to graduate but I pushed myself and finished my credits early during senior year.

How will you be celebrating graduation this year and marking this big milestone?

My school is celebrating graduation by having a “Senior Photo Day” where we get photos taken in our cap and gown. Then a few days later, we are having a virtual graduation where we will officially “graduate”. 

How I will be celebrating graduation and marking this big milestone is unknown for now. I know I will be celebrating, but for now I don’t have any plans. 

What are your plans for after you graduate?

After I graduate, I plan on moving into my own apartment, and finishing my Associate’s Degree at Bellevue College then transferring. I plan on becoming a Youth Advocate Lawyer. 

What about the coronavirus pandemic has made you feel proud, supported, or hopeful?

The coronavirus pandemic has allowed many helpful resources into my life. I have also used this time to focus on myself, and create good habits and routines. 

Treehouse has made me feel supported during this pandemic by purchasing needed essentials and celebrating this big milestone in my life.

Although this isn’t how I want to spend my time, I’m thankful for it.

What is your message to other people your age at this time?

To all the people my age, 

My message to you at this time is to remind you to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. You completed 13 years of school and made it to one of the first biggest milestones of your life. Remember and cherish these moments for the rest of your lives.  

We finished our first biggest milestone, and we still have many more to come, no matter what path we take. There is no right or wrong path, and it’s ok to change. If we can make it through this, we can make it through anything. 

Thank you, Ericka and we celebrate with you in this big milestone!

Earlier graduation highlights include:

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