graduation

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For high school seniors across South Florida, the usually memorable last few months of their final school year were cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic, as schools shut down their campuses.

Chris Cutro / Miami Herald

On this Tuesday, May 19, episode of Sundial:

What Does The Future Hold For The High School Graduating Class Of 2020?

High school seniors across South Florida are weeks away from graduating. But for many, post-graduation plans look a lot different because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrities, activists, artists and students themselves recognized America's 3 million-plus graduating high school seniors in a widely broadcast ceremony on Saturday night, after the coronavirus crisis robbed the class of 2020 of a crucial milestone.

The virtual event, called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, carried a resounding message of community at a time when COVID-19 rules out the possibility of large gatherings.

It was a pretty normal St. Patrick's Day. Nathan Stewart and a couple of friends were hanging out, drinking a few beers, soaking up senior spring at the University of Virginia. Then an email landed in their inboxes: Classes were moving online and graduation was indefinitely postponed.

This fall, there were nearly 250,000 fewer students enrolled in college than a year ago, according to new numbers out Monday from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which tracks college enrollment by student.

"That's a lot of students that we're losing," says Doug Shapiro, who leads the research center at the Clearinghouse.

Roz Chast

Thousands of graduates from South Florida colleges and universities will receive their diplomas in the coming weeks during winter commencement ceremonies.

Becon TV

Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade was a surprise guest speaker Sunday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's graduation ceremony, leading cheers and recalling how nervous he was to meet students following the on-campus shootings last year that claimed 17 lives.

Wade called himself "part of this MSD family" and told graduates that it was understandable if they feel unsure about their futures — because in some ways, after 16 years in the NBA, he also is unsure exactly what his future entails.

Kaylee Rodriguez / WLRN

College graduation is here. And you've probably been seeing a lot of photos of recent graduates from the class of 2019 with their caps, gowns and smiles. But what happens to South Florida graduates after they receive their diploma?

Some will continue their education into graduate school. Others are heading into the job market. Some will be staying in South Florida to build their lives and careers. And others will leave to try and find their dreams in another place. And many will be leaving with student loan debt.

School's out for the summer.

For thousands of students and their families, the end of the school year means graduation. 

We asked listeners what they would tell graduating students if given the chance to give a commencement speech.


Courtesy Broward County Public Schools

Comedian Jimmy Fallon made a surprise visit at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's graduation ceremony on Sunday, nearly four months after the students survived a shooting that killed 17 of their classmates and teachers.

Twitter/ChicoFreedom screengrab via Miami Herald

It's a tradition for culturally black sororities and fraternities to "stroll" across the graduation stage and perform their Greek organization's signature dance, but that tradition was interrupted Saturday at the University of Florida by an "aggressive" graduation marshal.

Video footage showed the orange-and-blue clad marshal physically hustling the celebrating students off the graduation stage — at one point bear-hugging a male student and dragging him away. The videos have spread widely on social media, with many critics calling the actions racist.

According to the Florida Department of Education, nearly eighty one percent of Florida teenagers earned a high school diploma last year. That makes the state's graduation rate 20 percent higher than it was a decade ago.

It mirrors a national trend--but is the news too good to be true?  

Rowan Moore Gerety

As a high school freshman, Aaron Willis was paralyzed from the waist down in a drive-by shooting while riding his bike in Wynwood. Wednesday, Willis graduated from Booker T Washington High School on the honor roll.

 

Willis wore a look of sheer determination as he walked across the stage to claim his diploma, walking with the aid of crutches and robotic leg supports. The friends and classmates who filled the auditorium lost it, their screams gradually coalescing into chants of “Aaron, Aaron.”

 

It sounded like a story guaranteed to irritate taxpayers: a national study out of Rutgers university says more and more public high school students are taking longer than four years to graduate.

Instead, they're in school for five or six -- or more --  years!

But Florida school officials say that's not a problem here. And experts say, they both may be right -- the difference may lie in some good news from the last several years.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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