MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minneapolis Community and Technical College graduates had looked forward to celebrating their accomplishments with a commencement ceremony held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
But for the class of 2020, COVID-19 has changed all that.
"We have students who are still in high school and then students who are much older. We got parents, grandparents, veterans, we have folks who are the first to graduate in their families from college," said Student Life Director Tara Martinez.
"We really wanted to try and find the best way we could celebrate our graduates even though we can't be there together," said Martinez.
Martinez and staff have been planning a virtual graduation since classes were moved online because of COVID-19. Minneapolis College will produce a video project, highlighting student and guest speakers in a virtual commencement. Graduates and their families can watch from the safety of their homes. The class of 2020 will also get a grad pack.
"We are actually going to include an alumni association photo frame, and that's not something we've ever done before. It's just a small token I hope they appreciate, and I hope connects them with the alumni association," she said.
Three student speakers will give a speech on graduation day, sharing their college experience with their classmates. One of those speakers is Khalil Yasin.
"I do believe we still deserve some kind of celebration at the end of the day," said Yasin. "Recognize every single student, the person, the things they had to overcome to get their career goals or just life goals in general.
MCTC hopes the community will help make this virtual graduation memorable.
"I always say, everybody brings their village - whatever size village they have and now, the village might be spread out but hopefully they will feel the love and feel the celebration from the larger, greater village," said Martinez.
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