virtual graduation The trainees of Class 61 of the Administrative Careers Training (ACT) program completed homework, presentations, and Microsoft Office Specialist certifications, all while working from home. They were really hoping to gather with friends and family for an in-person celebration.

That graduation ceremony was originally scheduled for May 31st at the El Campanil Theater. The special guest speaker was lined up: community leader Keith Archuleta, President and CEO of Emerald HPC International, Executive Director of the Antioch Community Foundation, and Opportunity Junction former Board Chair (and current Advisory Council member).

But on March 12th, the class went home with laptops. "We didn't know how long we would be at home, but we didn't realize it would affect graduation," says Vickie Ore, a member of Class 61.

"This class is really close," explains Michelle Wade, Lead Program Manager. "They were really looking forward to celebrating together, even if it meant holding the graduation ceremony several months later than usual." Many wanted to introduce their families to their "second family" at Opportunity Junction.

Class 61 and the ACT staff team will be working together to design a virtual graduation. "It's not our first choice," concedes Vickie, "But we don't expect the public health situation to change in time. We'll just have to hold a graduation anniversary celebration when we can all come together again. We are a very strong class."

Invitations will go out once the virtual graduation ceremony is scheduled, and all will be welcome.