Graduation With a Twist


Jerich Alcantara and His Parents

Mia Lewis , Staff Writer

School is coming towards an end, which means difficult goodbyes for seniors and a warm welcome to the new incoming freshmen. The one event that every person cannot wait for is their  graduation. Whether it is high school or college graduation, it is a huge milestone in everyone’s life and it signifies an end to a memorable four years.

Jerich Alcantara and his family were on their way to his college graduation and left their home in Queens early to ensure that they would be in Manhattan at 10 a.m. Alcantara was graduating from Hunter-Bellevue College of Nursing on Tuesday, June 1. While on the subway to get to the ceremony, the emergency brake was pulled, which stalled the train for almost two hours before rescuers came to help the riders to the next stop.

Alcantara hoped he would still be able to make it towards the end of his graduation, but when it soon became clear that he would be spending one of the most important days of his life stuck on a New York subway, he made the best out of the situation. He then got up in front of all the passengers and said, “I told them I appreciated them all coming and that it meant so much that they were there.”

With other passengers frustrated with the fact that they would be stuck there for a while, they quickly joined in to celebrate Alcantara’s unique graduation. One of Alcantara’s best friends, who was also on the subway, brought a speaker and started playing graduation music to lighten the mood including the song,“Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” by Green Day. Alcantara then received his “diploma,”which was actually a phone, and gave a little speech to thank everyone for making his college graduation so special. His father and other passengers captured the moment by taking videos and pictures. Soon, these photos were uploaded to social media and Alcantara’s story was shared with the world.

Time flew by and soon enough the passengers on the subway were saved. Alcantara and his family quickly went to Hunter College Brookdale College, where the graduation took place, only to see other graduates in their caps and gowns with their families. Although Alcantara may have missed his graduation, he was thankful for the other passengers who made his graduation experience so memorable.

Alcantara remembers, “Everyone seemed to be in a brighter mood.” Moving forward towards achieving his goal of becoming a nurse, Alcantara will now study for hsi nursing board exams. The Hawthorne Clarion wishes the seniors of 2017 a good luck in college and strongly recommends them to stay away from subways on graduation day.