Newark high school graduates honored with drive-by celebration

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- An emotional drive-by celebration was held in Newark for graduating high school seniors.

Newark police and fire departments were on a different call than usual on Thursday.

Their job was to put smiles on the faces of graduating seniors.

Senior Bayyinah Muhammad was so appreciative of the caravan and so grateful for the moment.

She's the first woman in her family to graduate from high school.

"I just broke the cycle for my family," Muhammad said. "Neither my mother, my grandmother ... it feels good."

Police and fire officials were right there offering their support as graduates took pictures and made memories.

It was a celebration they deserved, as the Class of 2020 wasn't able to have a traditional celebration due to COVID-19.

"They've been confined to their homes, navigating through these times. But they overcame and today is a celebration day for them," Newark police officer Hussain Sara said.

And they made sure to celebrate. Tatiana Dundas was giddy with happiness to see all the waves.

"Wow ... like oh my gosh, they came out here today just to see we are graduating it's really nice," Dundas said.

With her proud father right beside her, Dundas said it was nice to see so many people come out and watch them graduate.

Then there's Anayah Woods, who lost her uncle to COVID-19.

"He always told me I had to graduate, but being that I graduated and he's not here right now -- that really hurt me ... I did this for him and everybody else including myself," Woods said.

When the cars and trucks pulled up, there were hugs, tears and a moment of pure joy as her high school journey finally came to an end.

For many of the graduates, they are looking towards the future and fulfilling their dreams.

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