Wake County high school seniors graduate after challenging year amid pandemic

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — While school has been in session across Wake County for a few months, many seniors are seeing each other for the first time as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma.

“I thought we were going to have a virtual graduation,” said Daniel Iluyoumade.

Due to the pandemic, seniors across North Carolina spent most of their senior year apart.

“It was really challenging being home all day, all the time,” said Jackson Gill.

Students at Athens Drive returned to school in person during the middle of their spring semester.

“It was nice to see everyone and be all together and enjoy the Athens Drive community,” said Bella Reeves.

Now the senior class is reuniting for the final time to say goodbye to the school they’ve called home for the past four years.

“It’s great to be with everybody here in the class,” said Gill.  “I think it’s the only one in Wake Co. where we were all together, so it was a really special moment for me to be right here on our home football field.”

As they relish in the pomp and circumstance of graduation they took time to reflect.

“We came a long way,” said Iluyoumade.

The seniors say they’re ready to turn the page and take the next step towards reaching their full potential.

“This is just another accomplishment in my books,” said Iluyoumade.

“It was really hard this year but I’m ready to go to college and get started on the next chapter of my life,” said Reeves.

In total, more than 400 students graduated from Athens Drive High school in 2021.

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