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 Leadership, Treehouse, Lifewire, Lambert House, Youthsource and Young Women Empowered for empowering our scholars’ dreams!
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?
There is a lot more time to be in stillness. I’m not able to access the places I usually go for reflection and connection, not to mention that I’m away from my community and friends. Those are the people that support my growth and peace of mind so I’ve had to create new ways of showing up for myself.
I have my siblings and those relationships have helped me feel connected and supported during the pandemic.
I feel angry and confused about the long injustice the Black community has been facing in terms of resources like health care and nutrition, this time just amplifies all of those injustices. It feels immobilizing.
How will you be celebrating graduation this year and marking this big milestone?
My family and I will be holding a few graduation ceremonies at the end of this month. For me, the milestone probably won’t hit me until I’m in California looking back at the summer.
What are your plans for after you graduate?
My plans are to go to California for college, I was really excited for my out of state adventure and new phase of life. It’s all going to look different now and I’m really ready to move on and move forward. Time will tell what that transition will be like logistically.
What about the coronavirus pandemic has made you feel proud, supported, or hopeful?
I feel proud that I’ve been seeking out my own resources and not relying on anyone to do it for me – realistically it has sped up my personal growth because I’ve been processing so much on my own. It’s a lot and sometimes I can’t get my mind to rest. I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought and I’m finding that time for rest is just as important as time for production. There’s a lot of self-worth questions that come up for me when I feel like I’m not “doing anything.”
What is your message to other people your age at this time?
To use this time to rest, especially if you’re a young Black youth. Our rest is revolutionary. There is so much chaos and pain in our country right now and the Black community, as always, is taking a majority of that pain. Be together. Be joyful.
Congratulations, Adanech! We hope you get lots of rest to truly enjoy your California adventure.
Earlier graduation highlights include: