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Graduates in the Capital don't need the stage to change the world

Posted at 11:26 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 23:26:13-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — On Saturday, graduates from Florida State and Tallahassee Community College will be celebrated, despite the pandemic.

Aaron Redda has walked across a stage twice before for undergraduate and graduate degrees.

He's getting a master in information technology from FSU and was looking forward to walking again Saturday.

"It's a pretty anticlimactic ending to our college experience," said Redda. "I mean, I understand why they have to do it with the precautions we're going to have to take."

Mia Wiederkehr graduated from TCC's dental hygiene school on Thursday and took part in a virtual ceremony. She says her class was sad they couldn't walk and receive their diplomas together.

"It's really sad, because this is a big milestone for us," Wiederkehr said. "A lot of our families were going to come watch, and we were really proud of our accomplishment. But now, we can't even say bye to each other or our teachers."

Redda says his heart goes out to those who won't get to walk across a college stage.

"I really hope FSU, or whatever university they're graduating from, gives them an opportunity to walk on stage," Redda said. "Whether that be in the winter semester or next year, or having their own special ceremony. Because I really believe that is a very critical part of the college experience."

While a virtual graduation isn't ideal, both Wiederkehr and Redda are focusing on the silver lining.

"We're all still getting our degrees, we've all still come a long way from when we started at TCC," said Wiederkehr.

"All of the graduates really finished their degrees," said Redda, "and they're out to change the world in whatever field they pursue."

They don't need the stage to change the world.