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Westview Centennial Secondary School in the northwest of Toronto is celebrating the graduating class of 2022. On Thursday, about 180 students are crossing the stage to get their diplomas. While this is a common rite of passage for teens across the country, these students had anything but a normal high school experience. The pandemic meant online learning, no sports, taking care of younger siblings and little in-person interaction with friends. Westview is also located in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood – one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.

The Globe’s education reporter Caroline Alphonso is joined by Decibel producer Sherrill Sutherland as they spend a day at Westview to find out how they feel about graduating. They bring us some of their stories of triumph, struggle and hope which all made up their pandemic-era high school experience.