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Stuck On Stalled Subway Train, Nursing Student Holds Own 'Graduation Ceremony'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority strikes again – subway delays made a nursing student miss his graduation this week.

But as CBS2's Reena Roy reported Wednesday, the stalled train did not derail any of the pomp and circumstance.

Cellphone video that has now gone viral shows the student, Jerich Alcantara, celebrating his graduation right on the subway car.

Instead of walking the stage at Hunter College on the Upper East Side, Alcantara was stuck on a stalled E Train deep under Queens.

So he and his best friend took matters into their own hands, and fellow passengers went along for the ride.

"I spoke loudly to everyone and said to the whole car, 'Thank you guys so much for coming out today. Thank you for coming out and watching me graduate today,'" Alcantara said.

They even played the ultimate graduation song and created a makeshift diploma.

"It turned a terrible train ride into something really memorable," said Bobby Rahman. "Every graduation you go to is the same, you know? So our graduation was held in the MTA -- for better or for worse."

Alcantara said he left his home in Elmhurst, Queens extra early at 8 a.m. Tuesday for his 10 a.m. ceremony.

"The emergency brakes went off, and the conductors couldn't fix it for like an hour and a half," Alcantara said.

As luck would have it, Alcantara said his commute to school took longer than any other in the past four years. What should have been just 40 minutes ended up taking almost four hours.

"At first I was upset, before that makeshift ceremony," Alcantara said.

Alcantara said he will be getting his actual diploma in the mail sometime soon. He will then be studying for his board exams to become a practicing nurse.

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