In-person graduations have been canceled and for many, celebrations have been limited to digital celebrations. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago celebrities highlighted graduates across the area in a TV special, but that still does not highlight the bond shared by Association House High School faculty and our students, and the opportunity for many of our graduates to celebrate this significant achievement.

Acknowledging the void and lack of options for a formal celebration, our teachers and administration started the AHHS Graduation Caravan. The trip across the city celebrated our graduates, allowed our staff to provide kind words and students to have the backdrop for a perfect photo with their cap, gown, and diploma.

“Every year graduation day is something that our ENTIRE school looks forward to,” said Jemina Lyle, AHHS YS3 Mentor and Students in Transitional Living Liaison. “This year it’s no different and we’ve worked really hard to make it so much more special for our students because of the climate and the circumstances we are all in.

“We wanted our students to feel special and know just how important they are to our school. Pulling up to their houses and seeing their smiles has made the planning, driving, the heat, the Google meetings, the homework help, and whatever else you can think of 100 percent worth it. Our students deserve these moments and these are this is literally an experience they will never forget and neither will we.”

The caravan took place over two weeks and allowed for each senior and family members to enjoy the moment as graduation took over the front of their homes. In total, the AHHS class of 2020 celebrated 50 graduates.

“Today there were plenty of tears – some expect, some surprising but they were a great reminder of what all of this is for,” the AHHS Facebook page reads. “No matter how long or tumultuous the journey IT WAS WORTH IT!”

Throughout the run across the city, AHHS celebrated their new alum with the #AHHSWolvesStrong hashtag, which was placed on signs outside of campus in association with Youth Connection Charter Schools.