Celebrating Denver's 2020 graduates

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The Class of 2020 missed out on prom and many did not have a graduation ceremony because of shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Colorado Community Media reached out to the students virtually to find out what they missed most about not spending the last couple of months of their senior year on campus. Here is what they had to say:

Emma Hoeschler, Denver South High School

“What I miss most about not being on campus for senior year is my teachers. I made great connections with so many teachers at my school and not being able to truly say goodbye to them at school is very difficult. They’ve supported me for the last four years and I feel like the least I can do is say goodbye to them properly, which I haven’t been able to do whatsoever.”

Hoeschler is going to attend the University of Colorado-Boulder to pursue a degree in secondary education with a teaching licensure in social Studies and English for the high school level.

Annie Welch, Denver South High School

“I miss my friends and the teachers that made my high school years so fun, fulfilling, educational and memorable.”

Welch will be attending the Colorado School of Mines as a Harvey Scholar, a merit-based scholarship program that recognizes and rewards merit in academic performance, outstanding character and leadership, and fosters excellence in academic and life pursuits.

Michelle Castro-Carbajal, Denver South High School

“Not being able to finish the year on campus, not having time with the staff and friends that pushed me through my successful four years at South. I will miss the fact that I didn’t get to say goodbyes to my teachers and coaches. Even though I don’t necessarily talk to all the seniors in the class, we were all part of such a great community and it is sad that we couldn’t share our future goals and accomplishments together in one place. I wish everyone in my class great success as they head into the wherever the future takes them. I am proud to be a Rebel.”

Castro-Carbajal will be attending the University of Colorado-Boulder and plans to major in sociology.

Nate Kingdom, Denver South High School

“I just miss seeing the people and being in the community. I miss the teachers and I just miss the experiences I wasn’t able to have like my peers before me.”

Kingdom is taking a gap year to move to Israel and will enroll at the University of Colorado upon return.

Jordie Cunnien, DSST: Cole High School

“One thing I’m going to miss the most is the chance to spend time with my friends and teachers, given it will be the last time I would have been able to physically hang out with some of them. School was one of the special places that I could hang out with my peers and educators, and it’s painful not having the ability to spend the remaining few months of my high school career with them.”

Cunnien plans on studying a mathematics subject at a four-year university.

Paola Gascot, DSST: Byers High School

“Being part of the founding class of my very rigorous school, I speak for most of my peers in that not being able to spend the last few months celebrating our accomplishments with friends and staff has been the most disappointing. It’s one thing not wanting to go to prom, graduation, senior signing day, senior sunset, etc., and another being told that you can’t go. These are events that happen once in our lives as high school students that we will most likely not experience again. Some say that they are not important and that we may not remember these memories, however, that is easier to say when you have already experienced these events. These events are the closure we need in the transition into adulthood.”

Gascot will be attending the University of Denver and plans to double major in environmental studies and Spanish.

Gwen Scott, Denver School of the Arts

“These are my last few months in the state of Colorado with all of my friends, and it’s really hard to not be able to spend more time with them before I move.”

Scott will be moving to Chicago to work in the film industry.

Rashmi Ryan-Brundin, East High School

“I miss seeing my teachers and classmates, and all the fun end-of-year celebrations that seniors get to do, such as senior checkout and prom.”

Ryan-Brundin plans on studying humanities at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.

Marina Santos, George Washington High School

“What I missed most was saying goodbye to my teachers in person, and not having my International Baccalaureate art exhibition.”

Santos will be attending Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

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