To all the high school seniors who are graduating this year – we’re sorry.

In a normal year the last few months should have been spent enjoying the final days of this phase of their lives.

You’d have taken dates to prom, enjoyed successful soccer and track seasons, taken part in the senior prank and skip day, and just enjoyed hanging out with friends before finally tossing your caps in the sky.

This year’s seniors have been given a bum deal. Rather than participating in those treasured rites, your class, like everyone else, have had your lives upended.

Schools have been closed since mid-March. Dances and athletic competitions have been canceled. The traditional graduation ceremony has been stripped away.

You graduate with the uncertainty of whether the colleges you intend to study at in the fall will be open, or whether it will be safe to live in dorms.

None of that devalues the work you have done though. You’ve still reached a key milestone in life. That is cause to celebrate, even if the celebration looks different than what we expected.

To all the seniors out there know that your work, your accomplishments and your achievements still stand.

Know that your memories of your last year of high school will be unique. You may not experience the usual traditions now. But in years to come, you will be able to tell stories about this time to your friends and family.

You’ve still made it to the end of this chapter. The next one is uncertain, that is true. But you’ve already shown you can put in the work needed to succeed.

We have no doubt that you will dust yourselves off from the disappointments of the past few months, prepare for the challenges that await and forge success out of adversity.

You are ready to go out into the world and tackle what is coming your way. You have made all of us proud.

Good luck to the Class of 2020.

Amber Peabody

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