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Valedictorian Discusses Boston's Virtual Graduation Event And High School During A Pandemic04:33
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The city of Boston is honoring graduating seniors in a special celebration Saturday evening. Due to the coronavirus, the graduation ceremony will be virtual and broadcast live on WCVB Channel 5 at 7:30 p.m., and on Entravision Boston at 11 p.m.

Maryan Adan is this year's valedictorian at New Mission High School in Hyde Park and has a small speech planned during the virtual ceremony. The Roxbury teen is planning on attending Harvard University this fall.

WBUR's Sharon Brody spoke with Adan about her senior year and graduation during these turbulent times.

Interview Highlights

On what it means to be able to participate in the virtual graduation event:

I know that it's hard times for us now with the whole COVID-19 pandemic. The seniors this year for the class of 2020 have experienced a bunch of hardships and weren't allowed to go to prom or graduation. So I think the ceremony will allow them to enjoy their graduation virtually and be honored throughout Boston.

Maryan Adan is this year's valedictorian at New Mission High School in Hyde Park. She plans to attend Harvard University in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Maryan Adan)
Maryan Adan is this year's valedictorian at New Mission High School in Hyde Park. She plans to attend Harvard University in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Maryan Adan)

...For my speech, I congratulated all the classes of 2020 for their accomplishments. And I wanted to make sure they knew that they worked very hard to get to where they are now. This is just the next step into their future and to achieving their goals and their dreams and to make sure that they keep their head up during these times. Because the most important thing is their family and their education, because they're all meant to shine.

On the challenges of completing school work amid the pandemic:

I think the biggest thing was time management, being able to set a schedule and determine when I'm going to do a certain assignment. And also having as a quiet place for me to work and to focus was one of the biggest things that worked out for me.

On racial justice and police violence against Black people and people of color:

It's heartbreaking to see what's going on in the world right now, especially living in Roxbury and being a person of color.

I think it's hard to see and hard to understand, but the protests that are going on just show how [many] supporters we have and how the Black Lives Matter movement is important. And I think that what people are starting to understand now is that silence is not the answer and that they need to speak up and help gain the basic rights that people of color are fighting for in this country.

This segment aired on June 13, 2020.

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