MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A senior at Homestead Senior High got an early graduation gift from his school – a graduation.
Jainel Price was scheduled to graduate with his class next Tuesday. Everything was going to plan until Price, who enlisted in the Marines, found out he was being deployed the day before there ceremony. When the school found out, they decided to surprise him.
“When we found out, we decided we were going to hold a special graduation for him and his family,” said Principal Guillermo Munoz.
School officials set up a graduation rehearsal for Friday and told Price he was to wear his cap and gown as example to the other students as to how they should dress. But for Price, it was no rehearsal and he had no idea.
Even his family was in on it. They hid in a nearby room, careful not to ruin the surprise.
“Well, I’m kind of happy and sad because I’m going to miss him a lot,” said Price’s brother Ian Joyner.
When he took to the stage during the commencement ceremony, he was given his diploma and his family was called up to join him.
“By the power invested in me, I hear you declare you a graduate of Homestead Senior High School. At this time please move your tassle from left to right, cheers,” said Munoz.
A long drawn out hug from his mother was echoed in sentiments from Munoz.
“We wanted to show you a small token of appreciation for how we feel about you and your commitment to help protect us and our freedom. We wish you well and we want to make sure that you are safe above all,” he said.
Price was thrilled.
“I made it, it’s over, 12 years of my life, it’s cool. I don’t have to worry about any more,” said Price.
Price said nothing could replace the actual graduation day with his classmates but this was a pretty good substitute. On Monday he will head to South Carolina for 13 weeks of boot camp.