Garfield High School bids farewell to class of 2020 with first-ever drive-by graduation

James A. Garfield Senior High School in East Los Angeles bid farewell to the class of 2020 with a car parade graduation due to the pandemic.
EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- James A. Garfield Senior High School in East Los Angeles bid farewell to the class of 2020 on Thursday.

It was a graduation celebration like no other with a car parade due to the pandemic.

"I think I was just a little overwhelmed," said Amanda Bojorquez, a graduating senior at Garfield High School. "Joyful because even though we didn't graduate the way we wanted they still made it special and we still felt appreciated as students."

The teachers and staff organized a 5-hour long drive-by celebration for the graduates.

Each student passed by while inside of a car in front of the school and went under arches of balloons as their name was called.

"So, first time in Garfield's history since 1925, we're having a drive-by parade, virtual graduation," said Andres Favela, the principal of Garfield High School. "We're very happy to be able to do this for our students. It's the least that we can do. These students have shown a lot of resilience these past few years."

As the students passed by, teachers and staff greeted them holding signs with messages of love and encouragement.

Among them was Enrique Robles, a teacher at Garfield High, the master of ceremonies for the event and a teacher picked by popular demand.

"For them to honor me as their teacher class favorite and this parade ... I just feel very proud of them," said Robles. "I wanted to go out there and just how appreciative I am of them."

A total of 591 students graduated from Garfield High School this year, according to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

"Mixed emotions you know ... happy ... sad because it's my last time I'm going to see them," said Charlie Perez, a graduating senior at Garfield High School. "And just happy because I know that they support me."

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