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President Obama shares a message of optimism with the Class of 2020 as a part of "Dear Class of 2020,” a virtual commencement to celebrate graduates, their families, and their communities. As uncertain as these times may be, President Obama calls on the Class of 2020 to seize the opportunity to create a new normal, one that is fairer, gives everyone opportunity, treats everyone equally, and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them.

I graduated from high school in 2006, and I was late to my own graduation. Lucky for you, there will be no traffic on your big day! The world needs more helpers now more than ever, and I hope each and everyone of you can see that. You are our future and you are our promise. Felicidades!

Kelly V., Peru

Watch President Obama celebrate America’s high school seniors as part of Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020.

I know this milestone looks nothing like you imagined, but you've gotten a crash course in one of life's biggest lessons early: Life isn't always fair, but what you do with adversity and challenges will define your character.

Briana F., Oklahoma City, OK

We need your drive and innovation, now more than ever. Congratulations, best of luck, and please know that we are cheering you on. YOU GOT THIS!

Breana H., Chicago, IL

When I graduated, I wish I would have known that I absolutely mattered, that I had "it" in me, and that things would work out—I just had to be an active part of it.

Barbie M., Tooele, UT

Strength, resilience and tenacity are so very fitting for the wonderful class of 2020, which includes my daughter Nia! Know that your future is not dimmed by the unconventional methods of celebrating your academic accomplishments. On the contrary, you are now, more than ever before, prepared to adapt to our world’s ever-changing needs. Best of everything to all of you from Chicago!

—Brittan S., Chicago, Illinois

Although times may be rough and we may not know when this pandemic will end, we can at least say that we finished this chapter of our lives stronger than ever. We will look back on these past days, weeks, and months and still continue to see the growth of our beautiful upcoming generation. This picture reminds me of the last few days I had as a high school senior.

—Kayori R., Lanham, Maryland

Don’t be in such a hurry to start adulting. That will come soon enough. Take the time to find out who you really are and what you truly love—not what your parents or your friends from high school love, but what makes YOUR heart smile. This is my son Santana Joseph Pruitt. He is a Class of 2020 high school graduate and is the most resilient and humble young man I know. He will reign and shine, and this world is a better place because he is in it.

—Helki P., Snellville, Georgia

Thank you for showing us, your parents, how to handle this with grace and positivity. We are so proud of you and the class of 2020!

—Susan S., Leonardtown, Maryland

Know that each experience you’ve had, each class you enjoyed, and even the ones you didn’t have prepared you to deal with whatever may come your way. You’ve got this! Good luck and congratulations Class of 2020! This is my brother Mehul who is graduating high school this year. I couldn’t be prouder of him!!

—Annu G., Melbourne, Australia

Your favorite nurse here! I am an RN-BSN student and have transitioned from an operating room nurse to an emergency nurse in order to care for patients during this pandemic. Class of 2020: the adjustment we had to make this past semester was scary but here we are. We are smart. We are strong. We are resilient. Our time to really celebrate is coming. “Yes we can” has become “YES WE DID!”

—Fabienne A., Beltsville, Maryland, USA

Keep the celebrations going!

  • Aniyah Fisher, Illinois
  • Shannen H., Massachusetts
  • Emma H., Maryland
  • Santana P., Georgia
  • Stephvon S.,  Illinois
  • Blake P., Colorado
  • Donovan P., Washington
  • Israel S., Illinois
  • Obinna U., MIchigan
  • Danielle P., Oklahoma
  • Lily S., Maryland
  • Luna, Italy
  • Kacie B., Washington
  • Malyek B., New York
  • Lewis B.,  Georgia
  • Yasmine P., Indiana
  • Mehul G., Australia
  • Kayori R., Maryland