PLANTATION, Fla. – Barry University graduated 59 nurse anesthesiology students in a live ceremony streaming online instead of an in-person event Saturday. Colleges across the country are making similar moves in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
A Plantation nursing school grad got a different kind of celebration at home. Sirens blared through the quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac to honor Ashley Sorgen’s accomplishment.
"This has been above and beyond the best surprise that I could’ve asked for. It’s been amazing. I don’t even think graduation could’ve beat this," Sorgen said as cars drove by as well as Plantation Fire Department and Police.
Sorgen just completed nursing school at Jacksonville University, but COVID-19 put the graduation ceremony on hold there, too. This surprise parade was organized by Ashley's mother, Denise.
“I couldn’t do a celebration. We couldn’t go to Jacksonville and she’s home now. This was the only thing I could do,” Denise said.
Ashley’s friends and family kept their social distance, holding signs and balloons out of car windows, and Plantation first responders joined in the caravan.
Ashley and other soon-to-be nurses are ready to join the front lines in an unprecedented time. She admits that it’s a difficult time to start in the industry, but she can’t wait to help.
“It’s scary to start in an industry that this is going on, but I’m moreso excited to help and be there,” Ashley said.