Drive through graduation
Ms. Byers (Wayne County Success Coach) last day physically working in her assigned P2P school (Henry Ford High School) ended early due to COVID-19. After weeks of working from home and staying quarantined, Henry Ford had begun meetings on Zoom and conference calls. Depending on the updates and resources that were given, additional calls would take place one on one with the attendance agent Mr. James Ngare and Ms. Byers weekly. Every year, she supports the graduating class with honor cords for attendance, a prom drive to donate essentials for boys and girls, and additional support with all senior related actives.
During a conversation in late April between James and Ms. Byers, they brainstormed about how they could celebrate the graduating class while abiding by the social distance requirement. Ms. Byers suggested they model a drive through celebration like how the health department set out COVID-19 testing, and James loved it! With the approval of the principal Mr. Mokdad, they reached out to O'Hair Pak Community Association for community assistance and support. On June 25, 2020 at 3pm they held a spectacular event to celebrate the seniors. 65 students rode in vehicles with their families to our school first ever Drive-Through graduation. Cars were lined up for three blocks, with neighbors clapping and showing support. One vehicle at a time, the Dean of Students Coach Flowers greeted each family. First, they drove in and through a brown and gold balloon arch. They parked in front of tent where they were presented with a plaque which include a picture of them wearing their cap and gown.
Students took pictures with Principal Mokdad and their favorite teachers. Then they proceeded to drive by 28 staff members honking their horns, holding up signs, and balloons to honor to celebrate the them. The parents, school and the community came together and celebrate safely during COVID-19. The Detroit police even rode by in their squad car and said congratulations over their loudspeaker which made everyone on the school grounds cheer! It was like they all got another boost of energy. The music was loud, and the kids danced after they received their plaques. Everyone was full of joy and happiness. Thus far, 2020 is a year that has been filled with many challenges regarding health, safety, employment, and education. Ms. Byers’ idea and the action that James took to gather all materials and resources, gave the Henry Ford graduating class an experience that they will never forget!