Augusta (WJBF)- The pandemic drastically changed senior year for the Class of 2020. So, a local alumni association decided to step up and help those students.
The Richmond County Board of Education announced last week that a graduation would not take on the traditional form, but instead be a drive through graduation. The T. W. Josey Alumni Association went to work to make their graduates feel special.
Shaniquia Utley is a member of the Alumi Association and she says she felt the need to do something for this year’s senior class. So Saturday morning she and several other alumni passed out what they call alumni bags, to the graduates.
“Once I saw that the kids was missing out on they senior activities, at the end of May, I kinda went of Facebook and the alumni to sponsor what we called an alumni box at the time, to give the kids something to uplift them during this pandemic,” Utley said.
Utley also said it was important that the seniors who missed out on so much, get to enjoy something special for graduation.
“We saw that the kids did not get to do their prom, they did not get to do their Senior Week which is when they would normally get their class t shirts and those type of things and so when I found out they didn’t get any of those things I was like well at least we can get them a t shirt,” Utley told us.
A t shirt isn’t all they got. The association passed out senior signs and bags with class of 2020 face mask, gift cards and other class 2020 merchandise.
The class Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Miss Josey were all in attendance to support and cheer on their class mates. They told Channel 6 that they are proud of their classmates.
They all say that they are very disappointed that they won’t get to participate in a traditional graduation ceremony.
Joshua Walton is the 2020 Valedictorian and he said “There’s not really much we can do, I mean, technically we still did it, so, they can’t take that away from us.”
“I got sisters that I haven’t seen since I was little coming down here from Alabama to see me walk and now they can’t,” said Ta’Kievah Cooper, 2020 Salutatorian.
Still, they say that they appreciate what the Alumni are doing for them and they look forward to heading to college.
“This is just like, it’s a proud moment, to see that our alumni is really caring about us. So yeah, I just like it,” said Tamia Thomas, 2020 Miss Josey.
Utley said that they never could have done this without the help of all of the alumni.
“I just want to congratulate all the 2020 graduates, wish them well. And I appreciate all the support of the alumni, teachers and friends who donated to make this happen for our kids.”
The members of Alumni Association at Josey stay active during the school year to support the students at their Alma Mater.
T.W. Josey’s drive through graduation will be held at the school on July 21st at 6 p.m.