Class of 2020: Battle-scarred and resilient amid new crises


Liz Prado poses for a picture in Tijuana, Mexico, on April 23, 2020, seen through the border structure separating the two countries as they meet the Pacific Ocean, in San Diego where she attended a private high school before the coronavirus hit. Liz, who is 18, says the pandemic has made her even more passionate about her plans to become a human rights lawyer. “One basic human right is to have an adequate home that thousands of homeless people don’t have,” she says. Despite all the upheaval, with the pandemic and now protests over police brutality, she is still hoping to somehow attend NYU in the fall, whether online or in person. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

They are the Class of 2020, born in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks and coming of age in another tumultuous time. The Associated Press spoke with and photographed several graduating high school seniors to talk about where they’ve been and where they’re going. Some of them have experienced other traumatic life events, from the loss of a parent to natural disasters and life amid gun violence. They’ve been pegged by some as spoiled or coddled. But having made it through a Great Recession, gun violence devastating natural disasters and now a pandemic and nationwide protests over police killings, they say they are resilient and ready for the challenges ahead:

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