South Bend high school senior born on 9/11, now graduating during a pandemic

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- High school seniors nationwide are missing out on the fun of graduating, going to prom, and making memories with their friends because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Zach Searfross, a John Adams senior, is trying to make the most of the situation.

He has a unique story to tell, he was born on 9/11 and now he's graduating during a pandemic.

“It’s the day I was born so nothing I can do about it.”

Tiffany: What do your parents have to say about your birthday?

Searfross: Um. They always kind of have told me that it was a really crappy day but they got one blessing out of it and that was me.

Searfross is on the hockey team, plays baseball, is a National Honor Society student and a member of the recycling club at John Adams. 

“It seems like our last goodbyes with some of our friends and teachers have kind have been cut short, or we might not even get them,” Searfross said. “As well as like the final kind of goodbye to the school. Whereas we won’t be able to walk through the hallways one last time, clean our lockers, and stuff like that. That’s kind of tough.”

Searfross is taking everything in day and day. He said he had big plans for his senior year that just can't happen anymore. 

Tiffany: Did you ever think it would come to this?

Searfross: No, no. Those great memories we’re supposed to remember for the rest of our lives have kind of been taken away from us. You know you expect to be able to graduate, walk across the stage, and go to prom with your friends and have fun and we’re just stuck at home.

Tiffany: The senior class of 2021, what do you have to say to them?

Searfross: Don’t take it for granted. And I just want to say thank you to everyone in the community for trying to put us first. And trying to understand what we’ve gone through.

The good news for the John Adams class of 2020 is that a traditional graduation may still be possible. School officials are still weighing out how and when to make it happen. It may be delayed a few more months. 

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