Virtual Graduate Recognition Ceremony For Detroit Youth

Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López and Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield will curate a virtual graduate recognition ceremony for youth in Detroit graduating from Kindergarten, 5th grade, and 8th grade, who attend public, private, or charter schools.

The virtual ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, July 2 at 4 p.m., will recognize graduates from around the city and is in response to the cancellation of in-person graduation ceremonies because of  the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Education is a universally shared value and graduation ceremonies are a celebration of the hard work and dedication of students and their families. It’s important that we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of all our graduates, regardless of the grade level, given all they have had to overcome this year,” said Council Member Castañeda-López. “To persist through the pandemic, adapt to online learning and maintain focus during the national unrest is no easy feat, but you all did it! You are what makes our city so amazing and I am so proud and inspired by all of you — congratulations! ”

June is usually a time where we should be uplifting and celebrating the accomplishments of our youth with pomp and circumstance and words of affirmation and encouragement. Given that we can’t, Council Member Castañeda-López & President Pro Tem Sheffield wanted to make sure that as a community and city we could celebrate our youth.

“Every graduation is special. It shows a student’s commitment to their education and their future,” said Council President Pro Tem Sheffield. “However, the graduating Class of 2020 should be especially honored and praised for their tenacity and strength during the most difficult times our country has ever seen. You have persevered and are graduating in the midst of a global pandemic, and civil unrest like our country has not seen in decades. I am so proud of you all. You will go on to do amazing things in life.”

The virtual ceremony, which will include student names, school, graduating level, and an optional photo, will be pre-recorded and feature video messages from Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López and Council President Pro Tem Sheffield. It will air on Thursday, July 2 at 4 p.m. on the City of Detroit Channel 10 and City of Detroit YouTube Channel (

Parents/guardians who wish to include their kindergarten, 5th grade, or 8th graduate from a school in Detroit should fill out this online form by Friday, June 26:

What: Virtual Graduate Recognition Ceremony

When: Thursday, July 2 at 4 p.m.

Where: It will air on the City of Detroit Channel 10 and City of Detroit YouTube Channel (

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