LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Clark County School District's high school seniors across the Las Vegas Valley are celebrating their achievements in a string of commencement ceremonies set to conclude Monday.
Many of these graduates are now inspiring others by having found creative workarounds, and by not letting anything, including a pandemic, stand in the way of their dreams.
"We survived, not only high school, but a pandemic on top of that," said Isabella West, a graduating senior of Coral Academy of Science Sandy Ridge, in her commencement speech. "It is now time for us to all take that step forward, to move, promote and begin the rest of our lives. Congratulations to the class of 2021."
Even for class valedictorian West, distance learning was a struggle at times.
"It was harder to, like, get that communication with our teachers, and do any hands-on activities," said West.
But in the end, it paid off.
"I finally got into my dream school," said West.
Her advice to younger students, especially those who may continue to study remotely, is this: "Go to every class you can."
She added that it's important to find what motivates you. Hers, she said, was college. She's going to Pepperdine University in the fall to begin studies for becoming a doctor.
"Even though we've been through this pandemic, and it's been a struggle, a lot of kids actually did really well," said West. "I'm very proud of them."
But she's not the only one who's proud. The screams of proud parents echoed through the commencement venue for Legacy High School last week.
One graduate, Devyn Nobles, said his senior year was not what he imagined it would be.
"I'm a varsity athlete. I missed my senior year of basketball," said Nobles.
But as disappointing as that was for Nobles, he found ways to use his technology savviness and passion for social justice. In the wake of George Floyd's death, Nobles teamed with a Las Vegas law firm to create a "Know Your Rights" social media campaign, featuring a livestream question-and-answer.
He said there weren't many opportunities to do volunteer work in person, but, he "knew that [he] wanted to give back to [his] community somehow."
Now, Nobles said he hopes to continue giving back in a career, one that starts in the fall.
"I am going to be attending Virginia State University in the fall on a full-ride scholarship," said Nobles.
His advice for local students? Be creative.
"There are so many resources out there for your classes, and if you are struggling and do need help," said Nobles. He said he would often search topics on YouTube to gain a better understanding of lessons he wasn't quite grasping from his teachers during distance learning.