Honoring the Class of 2021

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic at this time last year, my guess is that every hometown and hyperlocal newspaper across the United States were trying to figure out ways to make their high school seniors feel special — for all the hard work they put in through the years to earn that high school diploma and begin the conversion from being a teen to becoming a young adult.

Colorado Community Media’s weeklies have always put together what we call a `grads package’ every year. As far as I know, the monthlies — the Washington Park Profile and Life on Capitol Hill — had never done a grads package before last year. But I felt last year was as good as any to implement a grads package for Denver seniors. And especially so because many, if not all, traditional commencement ceremonies were cancelled because of COVID-19.

While I’ll never forget the Class of 2020, a year later, I have to admit that the Class of 2021 is particularly special to me. I’m proud to announce that my oldest niece, Morgan, will be graduating from high school this year. It seems like only yesterday when she was telling me about an award she and a classmate won for some work she did in a beginner journalism class, or calling me up for a little help with her Spanish homework. (I majored in both journalism and Spanish in college.)

But Morgan is not the only one who is finishing her high school career this year. So I’ve decided to bring back the grads package for Denver’s Class of 2021 graduates.

Here is what I need to run this feature in the Life on Capitol Hill and Washington Park Profile newspapers:

  • Full name of the graduate.
  • A headshot photo — your senior picture or even a selfie in your cap and gown would work just fine.
  • The high school you’re graduating from. The school must be located in Denver, or the graduate must live in Denver if attending a school outside of the city of Denver. If you’d like further information on which specific neighborhoods the newspapers cover, feel free to drop me an email.
  • After high school plans. (Know that these plans DO NOT have to be college to be included.)
  • QUOTE (please answer in a full sentence): What did you learn during your senior year that you will take with you as you go forward with your future plans?

Responses and photos can be emailed to me directly at csteadman@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

I started this project for the Class of 2021 in April, but decided to extend the deadline to run it in the June editions. The new deadline is May 19.

I am looking forward to seeing all the responses, and I’m sure this year’s grads package will turn out just as great as last year’s.

And who knows? Because it’s so much fun, this may become an annual thing.

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