Each year we recognize top high school students in the state through our Leaders and Achievers scholarship program. This year we awarded $105,000 in scholarships to help 42 students across our state in their first year of college, with students receiving a $2,500 scholarship for their outstanding community service, academic performance, and leadership skills.
As COVID-19 halted our society this year, this group saw a tremendous upheaval to what is supposed to be one of the best years of their lives. Not only did they have to say goodbye to their in-person interactions with classmates and teachers months in advance, but they also missed out on key moments like senior prom and walking during their graduation ceremony.
And while we could not give them back everything they missed, we wanted to do something special for those students that received scholarships via the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, and their classmates.
A Special Digital Graduation Celebration During COVID-19
To provide students with a special congratulations and celebration, Comcast partnered with civic leaders to host a series of digital graduation parties across the state to honor scholarship winners and their classmates.
We hosted three Digital Graduation Parties for the class of 2020 for students in Spokane County, King County, and Snohomish County. At each event, we partnered with local elected officials and business and community leaders to join us in honoring the class of 2020. And while special guests addressed each student, we added a special twist on the traditional graduation ceremony.
Instead of a one-way conversation, these were interactive events. Students got the chance to address these speakers, solicit advice on life after high school and how to handle the post-high school transition, as well as, ask questions about how current events like the global pandemic and our country’s social justice issues are impacting our communities.
In Spokane County, we were joined by County Councilman Al French and the CEO of Greater Spokane Inc. Alisha Benson. For our King County event, Mayor Angela Birney of Redmond and Mayor Dana Ralph of Kent led the digital graduation event for our students. And lastly, in Snohomish County we were joined by the Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive Director Kendee Yamaguchi, Executive Director of Snohomish County YWCA Mary Anne Dillon, and Monroe City Councilmember Jason Gamble.
As a company, we were proud to bring these students a unique opportunity like this where they got to truly interact with local leaders and get answers to questions that mattered to them. It was an informative and special experience for the students and for the leaders, as both sides were able to have authentic conversations and open, honest dialogue on our world’s current events while celebrating this year’s high school class.
Our team at Comcast also learned a lot along the way and cannot express how deeply impressed we are with these students. The class of 2020 is truly a special one, and while it has dealt with so much, through it its students found incredible maturity and resilience that will make them great future leaders. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for these wonderful young adults.