You did it! Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Comprehensive Youth Development celebrates the 693 graduates from Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School, City-As-School High School, and The High School for Health Professions and Human Services! Students persisted in the face of a school shutdown, the anxiety of a global pandemic, and the launch of a new civil rights movement. They missed their friends, their teachers, their proms. But they didn’t let anything stand in the way of their success.

Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School Graduation Shot

Graduation ceremonies this year looked different than ever before, but were no less celebratory and joyful. Principals and teachers, CYD staff and more than 2,000 parents, friends, and family members gathered on couches and in backyards, around coffee tables and dinner tables to cheer the remarkable accomplishments of this indefatigable class.

Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School Graduates:

Ana Alfaro Garcia and Jennipher Ramirez Valera

The High School for Health Professions and Human Service’s Salutatorian:

Arlet Montavlo

City-As-School Graduate:

Angela Washington

Commencement Wisdom

Graduation speakers included students, alumni, principals, valedictorians, salutatorians, teachers, and public officials Gail Brewer, Harvey Epstein, and Carlina Rivera, actress Rosie Perez, and WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer.

“The only true failure is to fail to move. Make your next move your best move.”
– Shy/CAS alumni

“I’ve been at over 50 graduations in my career as an educator but no ceremony has been as unique or special as this one.”
– Michael Toise/Principal MCNDHS

“No one alive will ever forget the last six months. The last semester of your senior year will go down as one of the most important times in American history – a presidential impeachment, global pandemic, and equality protests that swept the globe. Traditionally, graduation speakers are supposed to give advice. But in these unique times, it’s people your age who are doing more to open the eyes of people my age than the other way around. My advice on that? Keep it up.”
– Brian Lehrer/WNYC radio host

“We are the generation of change. It is up to us to change America’s narrative.”
– Symphony Hylton, HPHS Class President

“Small actions by young people can make – and have made – a huge difference in the world. You are the leaders of tomorrow and you will focus on problem-solving, find a way to save the planet, and I sure hope, social justice for everyone.”
– Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President

“This is my favorite graduating class ever. You are truly exceptional and I will miss you greatly. You are leaders in every sense of the word. As Mother Theresa said, ‘Life is a promise. Fulfill it.’ “
– Robert Gentile/ HPHS Principal

“Understand that you deserve a seat at the table just like everybody else. I can’t wait to see what kind of difference you all are going to make in the world. The world is waiting. Go get ‘em.”
– Rosie Perez/ Activist and Actor

“High school graduation is an opportunity to reimagine our world and fight for a better one.”
– Rachel Seher/Principal CAS

“Life is like a Rubik’s cube… What is the point of having a cube if you don’t try to solve it?”
– Veronica Zuleyma Jiron/Graduate CAS

“Young people have led every single civil right movement in this nation. Follow your heart and lead with humanity. Use your vote. And always, be kind.”
– NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera

We look forward to the day we can all celebrate again in person, and to seeing the changes that this remarkable group of young people will make in our community and the world.

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