When the world started a new year in 2020, we didn’t think that three months in, we would be in a pandemic. March 25thchanged a lot of lives. People lost their jobs, healthcare, and means to take care of their families. When you’re a senior graduating from high school, college, or a professional program there are certain events you look forward to such as graduation. I had a chance to talk to Dr. Nicole Okeke-Oraeki the 2019-2020 Class President for The Southern University Law Center. She like most graduating seniors had plans to celebrate with loved ones that wanted to see her give her final speech and walk across the stage, however COVID-19 took that all away and shook the table on us.

How has COVID-19 changed your outlook on the world?

It is an unfortunate reminder that life is too short. We need to take the time to appreciate not only our loved ones but the blessings and the pitfalls that we encounter on a daily basis

 What plans did you have for graduation before the world shut down? 

The week before, I planned on attending Broccoli fest in Washington, DC, and having the turn up of a lifetime.

What’s your opinion on how the government is handling COVID-19? 

In my opinion the government should provide more financial assistance to its citizens, especially under-served populations and students. They should require all loan companies to cease billing of their customers until after the pandemic subsides, so that those customers can utilize that money for necessary expenditures.  

Do you think missing out on milestones such graduation will have a lasting effect on the class of 2020? 

No, I believe we are a resilient class and just because our graduations may have been cancelled, it does not diminish or take away the fact that we all have achieved something great. 

What’s next for Dr. Nicole Okeke-Oraeki?

I will begin prepping for the Bar Exam! Wish me luck!