Long Island valedictorians prepare a different kind of graduation speech this year
They've worked hard for years to achieve their accomplishments, but will Long Island valedictorians be able to make their celebratory speeches this year?
Hannah Hardeo is planning to deliver her speech to her Malverne High School classmates virtually. She read a sample of her speech to News 12's Christine Insinga.
"Today while we're not physically together, we serve as role models for those who look up at us," Hardeo said.
She is hopeful that outdoor, in-person graduations will be allowed in July.
"Even if we have to wear masks and sit 6 feet apart, I'll be fine with that because I feel that's the point of graduation -- to have those last moments together with your class," she said.
Erin Thompson is West Babylon's Class of 2020 valedictorian. She is headed to MIT.
After living in this pandemic for the last two and half months, Thompson says the speech she now plans to deliver to her fellow graduates is different than she originally thought.
"Now definitely, it's going to be centered around not taking things for granted and appreciating people, appreciating moments while you're there, while you're living in them because you may not get that last memory that you've been counting on," said Thompson.
Delivering those speeches they say will be a proud memory no matter how they do it.
"As we leave our legacy behind for future generations, they will always remember the strength and positivity of the Class of 2020," said Hardeo. "I wish everyone the best of luck in the future and congratulations to the Class of 2020."
Several state senators have asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow outdoor graduations in July. Cuomo has not yet responded.