Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School in Rochester held its first graduation ceremony in the school’s history over the weekend.
"La historia de tu vida puede haber sido modificada repentinamente, pero tus capítulos finales aún no han sido escritos," Prinicpal Wellinthon Muñoz told the class in spanish, and in english said, "Your life story may have been suddenly modified, but your final chapters have yet to be written by you."
It was a special moment for seniors who hadn't been in class together for months.
Yarlinelys Rodriguez-Bayrón was happy her class got to have an outdoor graduation ceremony.
"I know pandemic, coronavirus, no school, online work. It was really complicated but hey we made it. We're here now. I'm glad that we got to share this moment with other students, other classmates and see our families coming together," said Rodriguez-Bayrón.
She believes her experience at Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School will always stick with her.
"Teachers and staff members that were there for me, got me through everything this year and the hard work, waking up early, getting myself together and motivated," said Rodriguez-Bayrón.
School founder Julio Vázquez says he held back tears watching seniors receive their diplomas.
"It's mission accomplished. This is what we envisioned 21 years ago, so it's a very historical moment in our community," said Vázquez.
Now these students can put high school behind them and look to the future.
"I declare you high school graduates on Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School," proclaimed Muñoz to a thundering applause from students and their families.