LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Congratulations, graduates! High school graduation ceremonies are already underway at Clark County School District schools across the valley.

And it's no secret this year's graduates had to overcome some unique and daunting challenges amid the health crisis -- dealing with more than a year of forced distance learning.

Because CCSD looks to continue making distance learning an option for families, graduating seniors shared with FOX5 what advice they have for younger students still studying virtually during the pandemic.

"Go to every class you can, because I know a lot of students, they'll just fall asleep and skip class because you're at home, and it's really hard to get that motivation that you would get when you're in person and seeing friends," said Isabella West, the valedictorian of her graduating class. "But as long as you just push through it, you need to find your motivation."

West is attending Pepperdine University in the fall after achieving a roughly 4.6 GPA at her now former school, Coral Academy of Science Sandy Ridge.

She graduated on Friday alongside friends and classmates Olivia Lawrence and Zena Hajji.

As a self-proclaimed social butterfly, Hajji said distance learning was tough for her. She imparted her advice for younger students.

"Being that we had to hold ourselves back from seeing each other, our friends, our peers, having a support system online is something that would definitely help. Always reach out," said Hajji.

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Lawrence agreed.

"My advice would be to just always keep a good head on your shoulders, always look for the positives, than the negatives. Because if you always think negatively, it's just always gonna be negative. So just thinking of the positives in any little way you can will just make your day a lot better," said Lawrence.

The young women walked across the stage in Henderson on Friday, and received their diploma from Coral Academy of Science Sandy Ridge.


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