GISH Class of 2021 graduates despite obstacles during pandemic

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 8:33 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The class of 2021 was the first to experience their entire senior year during the Coronavirus pandemic but despite all the adversity, 564 Grand Island Senior High students graduated on Sunday.

“It’s amazing and it feels good all of our hard-work paid off,” said GISH Graduate Crista Manning.

Manning said trying to complete her senior year during the pandemic was no small feat.

“It was not very fun at first but we kind of adapted to it and I think it made us stronger and I know it’s a story we can tell our kids,” Manning said.

The ceremony started at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium and there were hundreds of people in the stands.

“It’s just a huge celebration for our families and it feels normal,” said GISH Principal Jeff Gilbertson.

2021 Graduate Myah Brown’s family was in the audience and she was thankful they were able to share this moment with her, especially since seniors didn’t get to graduate in-person last year.

“It is so great to be able to cherish the things that we aren’t guaranteed everyday,” Brown said.

Brown was the student speaker at the graduation and she reminded everyone of their resilience.

“We made the decision to show up not just today, but everyday from the first day of freshmen year until this past Tuesday,” Brown said.

She challenged them in this next phase to be bold, to make even bigger decisions than the ones that helped them persevere despite every obstacle.

“Make passionate decisions, make leadership decisions but the decision that shows you who you are because the world wants to know who that person is,” Brown said.

Brown will be attending Hastings College and Manning will be attending University of Nebraska Kearney. Both of them will be pursuing a degree in biology with an emphasis in pre-med because both of them hope to become a physician someday.

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