GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Senior High School held a virtual graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 just like many other schools across the state. One graduate reflects on his time in high school and his thoughts on finally graduating during a global pandemic.
Mathew Ford, senior class president at Grand Island Senior High, watched his name being called on a screen for his graduation.
He didn't get a chance to walk across the stage, have his parents clap and yell in pride, or say goodbye to his classmates one last time. Even though its not what he wanted, he is excited for the future.
"I'm moving on to a new chapter of my life and I finally get to go to college. I get to put this chapter behind me and move on," said Mathew Ford.
Ford's friends describe him as a chill, funny and an involved guy. Someone who goes out of his way to make people smile, which is probably why he was elected senior class president.
"Pretty outgoing, out there, you know. I kinda get myself involved and try to cheer people up when I can," said Ford.
Ford played tennis all four years and did theater production. He was actually going to direct the school play before the Coronavirus interrupted his plans. Not being able to have a regular prom and graduation devastated him.
"It was definitely upsetting. I mean just to think your entire senior year was being thrown away with prom. That's gone. Our graduation ceremony is gone. It was really devastating," said Ford.
A virtual graduation is not what he expected but he understands why it has to be this way.
Ford said, "Knowing that there's nothing I can do about it and this is what we need to do to stay safe."
To the class of 2020, Ford has a final message.
"We did it. Its not what we wanted but at least we finished," Ford said.
Above all else, he will miss his friends and the connections he made at Grand Island Senior High.
Ford will major in fisheries and wildlife at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and minor in television production. He hopes to make documentaries for National Geographic someday.