As senior year begins to close, the class of 2020 will never be forgotten. Not only because of COVID-19 but because of their significance. “We were all born during one of the worst times in American History which was 9/11,” Upper Merion Area High School senior Sarah Lattanze said. “And now we’re exiting, we are graduating which is a pivotal moment in someone’s life during COVID-19 so it’s amazing how the greatest moments of our lives are accompanied by tragedy.”
Graduating from Spring-Ford Area High School, Isabella Branco is excited to start a new chapter in her life. “My excitement is definitely stronger than my nervousness,” Branco said. “But I am still nervous because I’m going into uncharted territories. I’m starting over, and as nerve-racking as that is, it’s something that I’ve looked forward to for a long time.” She is looking forward to making her own “normal” by creating her own schedules and routines in college rather than following the “robotic” high school schedule.
Attending the University of Iowa this fall, Branco will be majoring in human physiology within the Pre-Physician assistant program hoping to become a sports physician’s assistant. She finds joy in helping those who are injured or sick. “I want to be able to help people recover from injuries or illnesses and ease their minds through their journey,” Branco said. “But whatever career I do end up in, I hope I bring people hope or joy. I hope I can be some kind of light in someone’s life, even if it’s just the tiniest sliver.” Alongside her studies, Branco wishes to continue her athleticism in college. Playing for both her high school and club soccer, Branco will be continuing her soccer journey on a club or intramural team the school offers.
Though her final months of high school were not the ideal way to finish, Branco has accepted the outcome and is no longer upset. “I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not getting the normal, fun last 3 months of my senior year,” Branco said. “I’m not really sad anymore because it’s out of my control. I’m proud of myself for getting it done and still keeping my head and spirits high.”
Graduating senior from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Ryan Moore will be attending the Montgomery County Community College for two years in order to continue his education. As a career, Moore wants to become a police officer. “I would join the military but there’s a reason why I can’t that I do not wish to speak about,” Moore said. “But other than that I need a little action in my life and busting criminals sound like fun to me.” Not sure what to expect, Moore does not feel much as graduation slowly approaches, other than hating being in his house for the time being. Looking forward, Moore wishes the seniors of next year good luck.
Sarah Lattanze is graduating from Upper Merion Area High School and will be attending the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia this upcoming fall majoring in their Physician’s Assistant program. Having an interest in human anatomy, enjoying helping people and loving the city life, Usciences was the best fit for Lattanze. Her goal after high school will be to attend Usciences for four years for an undergraduate degree, return for another two years to earn her graduate’s degree, become a Physician’s Assistant and work in a hospital.
Lattanze is excited to be going to college where she will be starting her new life by meeting new people and taking new classes. Looking ahead, Lattanze already has a plan for her future. “My life plan is to graduate in the year of 2026 with my graduate degree and be a physician’s assistant,” Lattanze said. “I want to move out to California until 2030 and then I want to move back to Pennsylvania and start a family.”
As classes were moved online, Lattanze feels graduating high school does not feel as important as it would if it were in-person. However, she has a different perspective on COVID-19. “If this were to happen 10 years down the road, I would be on the front-lines if you think about it,” Lattanze said. “I want to work in the hospital if I could, so I would be helping people. Even if I wasn’t working in the hospital, I would probably be recruited to help people with COVID 19 so I would be on the front lines. So if you think about it, my life would be completely different.” Feeling she has already graduated, Lattanze is ready to start her new life.
Upper Merion Area High School senior Nathan Jordan is planning to go to the military after graduating high school. Disappointed that he will not have a proper graduation, Jordan is both excited and nervous for what is to come after high school. He has not decided on attending college yet but plans to be a military police officer, something he has wanted his entire life. “I never really had much motivation to go into college,” Jordan said. “I want a more physical and mental challenge in my life, but my goal is to become successful in terms of being a better person.” As the final months of high school come to an end, Jordan knows that these moments are what really count.
Alexis Moore, a senior at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, will be attending the Montgomery County Community College this upcoming fall for two years. With her major undecided, Moore has enrolled in Liberal Studies. She chose this school for its Italian courses and it allows her more time to explore the different majors in order to decide what career she wishes to pursue. “I see myself doing something with creative writing,” Moore said. “Even if I don’t end up doing that, I’m going to be my own boss.”
Moore is excited to be graduating high school and looking forward to having more control and freedom in her life but has mixed emotions about what is to come after graduation. “On one hand it feels great to be moving on with my life, and getting into the ‘real world,’” Moore said. “On the other hand, it’s a little intimidating because I have no idea what I want to do in the ‘real world.’”
Reflecting on her senior year, Moore believes the class of 2020 was put at a disadvantage due to COVID-19. “Life as we knew it has changed drastically at the most crucial times of our lives,” Moore said. “I have confidence that we will make the best out of our situation.” Moore wishes the class of 2020 the best.
Kevin Husar, a graduating senior at Devon Preparatory high school will be attending Lafayette College majoring in mathematics. With a low student-teacher ratio, a great math program, a nice campus and a strong community, Husar is excited and looking forward to attending Lafayette College in the fall. With a love towards singing and his experience with musicals in high school, Husar plans to be involved in either theater or a capella groups in college.
Husar continues to finish his high school journey, even though classes have changed to online. However, Husar is not too concerned about the future. “I’m not too worried, to be honest,” Husar said. “Sure, being a senior in high school going into college during this time is not exactly ideal, but I think we are going to manage and get on with our lives once it ends. It sucks that graduation will likely be completely changed, but it’s for the best.”
Looking ahead, this summer will be the time to prepare for college, and Husar is looking forward to Lafayette’s move-in day. Husar has a positive mindset on what lies ahead, knowing that COVID-19 has had its setbacks for the class of 2020. “This will be over relatively soon, so we just need to stay strong until then,” Husar said. “We are going to be alright. Moving on to college might not be the same for us as it has been for other classes, but it will still happen, and we have to look forward to this major milestone in our lives, even if it is not ideal.”
Despite all their hardships, the class of 2020 will be remembered for years to come through their acts of perseverance and willingness to move forward during this uncertain time.