Monument Starbucks holds graduation ceremony for student employees

Digital Now

MONUMENT — Friday marked a different kind of graduation day for college graduates.

The coronavirus pandemic canceling graduation ceremonies, with many going online.

“A lot of kids, when they get part-time jobs, it’s just a job, but these managers just really, obviously, care about their workers,” said Mandy Houk, who was celebrating her daughter, Bethany’s graduation. 

A Starbucks in Monument helping arrange a graduation ceremony for four of their employees. 

“To have anything today at all is kind of, an amazing celebration. It shows a lot of how we can adapt and be safe as much as possible while still be able to celebrate life at the same time,” said Jason Chau, a  University Of Colorado, Colorado Springs graduate. 

Three UCCS grads and one from Pikes Peak Community College, dressed in their caps and face masks, with family watching from a distance. 

“It’s just something that we would have never expected to happen like, two months ago when it was first coming out like, we never expected any of this to happen. So, it’s just been really weird to see how this is all progressing, now it’s like our new normal,” Bethany Houk said, a UCCS graduate. 

Bethany says UCCS had a posted a virtual graduation on YouTube, but is grateful for this in-person celebration. 

“This just feels really good to have like, especially people that I know and like, care about acknowledge my accomplishments and the accomplishments of my coworkers,” Bethany said. 

And parents like her mom, are happy Starbucks let them celebrate their kids.   

“This is happening across the country. Nobody is getting a graduation. And so, this makes it that much more meaningful that it’s such a small group that everything was so personalized,” Mandy said. 

“I’m really proud of my son. He worked really, really hard for college and I’m very proud of him,” Ha Ward said, who was celebrating her son, Chau. 

As for what’s next? 

“After graduation I will be starting a new job in finance, which is very exciting and something that I love trained myself for, for a long time. Starbucks has been Ana amazing corporation and allowed me to take the time out to take care of myself and be able to start that new career plan, meanwhile still having a job here,” Chau said. 

“I’ve already applied to a couple hospitals because I’m a nursing school graduate and so, all I have left to do is pas my state board exam to get my official license. My actual school of nursing was talking about how we’re graduating in the year of the nurse. And so I think that’s something that’s really cool because they announced that before any of this even happened, and it’s kind of proven to be the year of the nurse,” Bethany said. 

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