I know how heartbroken you are not being able to walk on the stage and be handed your diploma. You worked so hard for just that moment, the moment to shine, to show everyone what you have accomplished during your years in school. Whether to give valedictorian or class president speeches, to raise your diploma high in triumph, to smile for every camera waiting to capture the glint of awesome wonder in your eyes – the moment was yours – or should have been. Then the unthinkable happened. A virus that scientists named COVID-19 started spreading its vicious bacterium throughout the world. It did not care your age or gender, your education or lack of. It is just waiting for that one careless motion to leap onto your skin, invade your lungs and then impatiently wait. Wait and watch to see what medication treatment will be administered in time to save your life while you fight for the very breath we often take for granted. Often, even when that treatment is finally found, it is still too late. How my heart aches for every one of you who so looked forward to your graduation day. Having family members of my own who will have to miss this day, I know very well how disappointed you are. However, please keep one thing in mind. Not being able to walk on the stage in glory and triumph, does not take away the fact that you achieved your goal. You passed your tests! You accomplished what you set out to do. Your family and friends are still proud of you and when this virus is over, while you will still not be given that golden opportunity to proudly walk on the stage, your family and friends will still celebrate with you and for you. No matter what your course of study, you are what you set out to be - and nothing, no virus, no quarantine, no walking on stage, nothing can take that away from you. Yes, you can be disappointed. It is your right! To work so hard for your degree and be denied the opportunity to share that glory and pride with others is not fair. Unfortunately, life is not fair and that is something you will find out if you have not already. Life is the best of what you make it to be. Grieve for a lost opportunity to shine for a day but do not make it a goal. You already achieved the goal you set out to reach. Be proud of who you are and what you have become. We are.

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