The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of students dramatically. From in-class sessions to distant learning, most affected in all of this is the graduating class of 2020. To honor each class and the hard work they have put in, CBS 4 is honoring valedictorians from each campus across the Rio Grande Valley on CBS 4 Valley This Morning.
HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Sydney Powelson is the valedictorian for Harlingen High School.
Like many students, Sydney did not have a chance to say good bye to classmates as school abruptly shut down.
Figuring out a new routine at home was challenging, but she figured out a new schedule, which helped with the uncertainty of this lockdown.
Sydney tells CBS 4 she’s learned to have a good sense of humor through it all. A lot of her fellow classmates have been reaching out to her for advice, asking how she keeps up with her school work now homeschooling, and what will happen for graduation.
She says she did have a hard time adapting to a new schedule at first, it took some conscious effort to create a new routine.
“At first I didn’t know what to do. I kind of just slept all day, and would eat, like it didn’t’ matter. And then after a week of that, it was like, ‘this has all got to change.’ You need a system, you need something to do because this is exactly what it’s going to be like in college.”
Something positive she’s seen from this pandemic, she has been amazed at how the community is pulling through in unexpected ways.
“I’ve seen so many people coming together, trying to make this world better because we’re in such an unprecedented time. It’s cool to see everyone coming together,” said Sydney.
Her mother, and other teachers, have newly inspired her.
“Our teachers, and our administrators, are just amazing, my mom actually is a teacher, and I’m watching her work so hard, and I know if anyone is working half as hard as she is, we’re doing great.”
Sydney plans to go to Texas A&M University studying poultry science. Her dream job is to work in the meat industry.