ASBURY PARK, N.J. – Mackenzie Horvath had high hopes for the last few months of her senior year at Jackson Memorial High School.
The 17-year-old had a great job at Jackson Premium Outlets, she’d committed to Montclair State University for the fall and she had even picked out her prom dress.
Then the coronavirus hit.
Like all students in New Jersey, that meant remote learning, no face-to-face with friends and no more after-school job.
But for seniors like Horvath, the cut is even more painful. The departing Class of 2020 is facing the possible reality of no graduation ceremony, no prom and the loss of senior traditions, from senior trips to class competitions.
Jackson Memorial High School senior Mackenzie Horvath shows off the dress she bought for her senior prom. But it's among many senior events being threatened due to Coronavirus. She launched a petition drive urging school officials to allow such traditions to occur later.
“I think the whole being out of school is affecting seniors the most,” said Horvath, who remains hopeful that the June 6 prom or the June 19 graduation may still happen. “This is what we have worked for all of grade school and our high school years.”
She even launched an online petition urging her district and others statewide to consider holding graduations and proms even if they have to take place in the summer.