EAGLE ROCK (CBSLA) — A high school senior from Eagle Rock is getting national attention after he asked former President Barack Obama to deliver a virtual commencement address for the class of 2020.
And Lincoln Debenham wasn’t just asking for his school, but for every student across the country graduating in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE: Kelly Price, Well-Known Gospel And R&B Singer, Registered As Missing Person
“It doesn’t feel real, like I’ve never had something trend on Twitter,” Debenham said. “This is a little crazy and new for me, but I’ve been told I’m handling it well.”
It started with a Tweet Debenham sent Tuesday.
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Hi @BarackObama! Like most high school/college seniors, I’m saddened by the loss of milestone events, prom & graduation. In an unprecedented time, it would give us great comfort to hear your voice. We ask you to consider giving a national commencement speech to the class of 2020.
— Lincoln (@lincolnjackd) April 15, 2020
The senior said it was Obama’s endorsement of Joe Biden that put the idea in his head.
“When I saw Barack Obama had released his endorsement for Joe Biden,” Debenham said. “I just heard how he talked. and remembered like that’s the leader I remember from when I was a kid, and I think everybody, or at least most people from 2020, can remember fondly as our role model and someone who really influenced us to be the people we are today.”
The tweet and #ObamaCommencement2020 quickly started trending on Twitter as high school seniors across the country jumped on board asking the former president to consider.
Obama has given several commencement speeches during his time as the 44th president of the United States.
“I just feel like maybe a message like that, that inspires young people to just keep going and not give up, that might be good,” Debenham said. “Whatever decision that Mr. Obama comes to, I’d respect it greatly.”
An Obama spokesperson told CNN that they were aware of the tweets and were “very flattered.”MORE NEWS: Friday Last Day For LAUSD Employees To Get First COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Before Oct. 15 Deadline
Debenham’s tweet has been liked more than 200,000 times and retweeted by more than 42,000 accounts. Celebrities like Rosie O’Donnel and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have even chimed in.