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Class of 2022 overcomes college, COVID-19 pandemic

The group of graduates are some of the few who traded their college campuses for computers, when virtual learning became a new norm during the pandemic.
Published: May. 7, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hundreds of students across the state walked across the stage to receive their diplomas this weekend.

“It’s definitely been worth it,” said Auburn University at Montgomery graduate Hayden Jade Ingram. “I’ve met some amazing people and we’re all just ready to start this new journey in our life.”

The journey has been more difficult for members of the Class of 2022.

The group of graduates are some of the few who traded their college campuses for computers, when virtual learning became a new norm during the pandemic.

“When it hit, I was in the middle of a semester in the spring of 2020, and we just completely shut down,” said Ingram, who is a nursing major.

She was having to do her lab work at home and was far from her friends, then came social distancing and masks. She persevered and graduated Saturday.

This Monday, she plans to start studying for the NCLEX to become a registered nurse.

“Our teachers and everything made it very, like, easygoing,” she said. “It was still a great experience for me.”

Some of those professors helped pave the way for future educators. AUM graduate Joshua Isaiah Moore is one of them.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Moore said. “I’m happy that it’s over. I’m happy to start my new journey in teaching, and I just can’t wait to get started.”

He tells us the pandemic certainly made his path to graduation more daunting.

“It was challenging at first,” he said. “I think my faith really played a part in me staying and continuing because I had plans on playing professional, but once COVID started, I decided to come back and finish my degree.”

With his degree, Moore plans to become a physical educator at Nixon Elementary School in Montgomery. As this journey ends, another one begins.

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