CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Thousands of students in Rhode Island are currently missing out on their senior year of either high school and college due to COVID-19, and for one local family, the virus has canceled graduation for four of its members.
Domenic Centracchio, Mario Delsignore and Megan Anderson are cousins and seniors at Cranston West High School. They were set to graduate during the same ceremony this spring.
“We’ve always been close like this,” Domenic said. “This is just another thing we have to get through together.”
Instead of cheering for each other during graduation, they tell Eyewitness News that the plan is for every senior to cross the stage in Cranston West’s auditorium individually – without an audience.
“Every person gets a scheduled time. We’re going to walk in the auditorium, cross the stage. We can bring two people,” Domenic explained. “They’re going to record it and put it into a big video we can all watch at a certain time.”
Although the three said they are happy to still have some semblance of a graduation, they are disappointed to be missing out on prom and spring sports.
Mario, a third baseman for the Cranston West baseball team, said, “The guys you’re playing with, you’ve been with since you were a younger kid. When you get that chance to finally play with them one last time, you want to live it up to the fullest. We couldn’t.”
Megan, a captain for the school’s softball team, is also bummed to be missing out on her final season.
“Prom, graduation, all the stuff you look forward to in senior year. We’re all going through it together, but it’s definitely tough,” she said.
Nearly an hour away from Cranston West, Kaitlyn Anderson, Megan’s older sister and Domenic and Mario’s cousin, was set to graduate from Assumption College in Worcester this spring with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Elementary Education.
As of now, the plan is to have graduation at Assumption in late August, but Kaitlyn had her degree conferred during a virtual ceremony in early May.
“I graduated college from my living room couch,” she said. “I had my parents and sister next to me. My grandparent’s on Zoom. My aunt’s on Zoom. It was weird, but really a beautiful day.”
All four cousins agreed that they’re struggling with the fact their high school and college careers were ended so abruptly. But they each said this situation has taught them not to take anything for granted, including the time they have with each other.
So what comes next for the graduates?
- Megan is headed to the University of New Haven, where she has committed to playing softball.
- Mario is going to the Community College of Rhode Island.
- Domenic is studying to become a Cranston firefighter.
- Kaitlyn is getting her master’s degree at Providence College and has accepted a teaching job in New Bedford.
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