Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

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Minnesota’s 2020 graduates take nontraditional ceremonies in stride

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

This private Catholic school, located right off Lake Street in Minneapolis (at 2924 4th Ave. S.) sustained a few broken windows from the protests after the death of George Floyd. Staff boarded them up in advance of the school’s drive-through graduation ceremony, held on June 6. Each graduate had instructions to pack family members into one vehicle, and to pull up to one of two stations, where they received a diploma cover and posed for two photos — one alone, and one with two family members. 

Jennifer Agustin Ambrocio, 17, drove through the mini in-person graduation ceremony with her parents and three younger sisters. She says she was a bit nervous at first because she didn’t know what to expect. But seeing her teachers wave from the school’s rooftop and getting that in-person, formal recognition left her “feeling grateful.”

She plans to attend the College of Saint Benedict, on a full-ride scholarship, to study prelaw in the hopes of becoming an immigration lawyer.

 

Jennifer Augustin Ambrocio
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
 
Jennifer Augustin Ambrocio’s father adjusts her graduation tassel, as they wait in line at the drive-through commencement ceremony at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School on June 6. She decorated her cap with quotes, flowers to represent her family’s landscaping business, gemstones and more.
Jennifer Augustin Ambrocio
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
 
Augustin Ambrocio poses for a graduation photo with her parents, holding her diploma. “I didn’t expect it to be this meaningful,” she said of the event. “It’s a great way to feel loved and appreciated.”
Jennifer Augustin Ambrocio
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
 
Augustin Ambrocio and her family drive past the graduate announcer in front of Cristo Rey, who read out names of graduates as they filed vehicles through two separate graduation stations.
Jaylen Cargill, 18, drove through with his mother and niece, with a few other immediate family members parking nearby and walking over to capture his official graduation photo op as well. He was pleasantly surprised by the event: “I thought it was going to be bland,” he said. “I didn’t expect all of this.”

He plans to attend Point Park University, in downtown Pittsburgh, this fall, on a basketball scholarship, to study electrical engineering.

 

Teachers and staff lined up along the rooftop of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to partake in a drive-through graduation ceremony held in front of the school building on June 6. Their view from the opposite side of the building included a burnt down AutoZone — a relic of the riots that followed the death of George Floyd.
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
 
Teachers and staff lined up along the rooftop of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to partake in a drive-through graduation ceremony held in front of the school building on June 6. Their view from the opposite side of the building included a burnt down AutoZone — a relic of the destruction that followed the death of George Floyd.
Jaylen Cargill
MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs
 
Jaylen Cargill got out of his car for just a few minutes, to receive his diploma and to pose for a few photos, while listening to his name called out over a loudspeaker, with "Pomp and Circumstance" playing in the background. Distance learning posed some added challenges in closing out his senior year, he says, adding it “was part of the journey and I had to get it done.”