LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In the absence of in-person commencement ceremonies, the class of 2020 celebrated themselves remotely with a star-studded lineup, including NBA star LeBron James and Former President Barack Obama.

The one-hour televised event, “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” aired on Saturday.

The student speaker of the night was Santa Ana High School valedictorian Priscilla Arceo, who encouraged her fellow graduates to use the struggle they’re experiencing during coronavirus lockdowns as fuel for their future successes.

In this screengrab, Priscilla Arceo speaks during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 on May 16, 2020. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ)

Although Arceo and other college and high school seniors across the country have missed out on traditional versions of milestones like prom and graduation, Arceo said she understands the reasoning behind the decision.

Speaking directly to the Class of 2020, Arceo said the following:

“We are strong and this test is going to make us a lot more resilient. We’re going to be super successful because we know what it’s like to struggle and we know what it’s like to get knocked down and stand back up. Just use this time to focus on yourself because we’re going to be rockstars.”

Arceo, who will be a first-generation college student, plans to study English at the University of California Santa Barbara.


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