The graduating class of Faith Academy High School in Winnipeg is anticipating a time of collective celebration this Wednesday as they end their time in school together.
"The highlight of my year was when the mask mandate was lifted," Tirza Zuniga-Guzman, the valedictorian this year at Faith Academy High School. "There was a whole other environment at school where we could just be free to do activities we weren't able to do before. It was awesome to have chapel together once again."
There are 32 students in the graduating class this June.
"One of the downsides [of the year] was at the end of April I got a concussion," says Zuniga-Guzman. "So dealing with that, I had to miss a lot of opportunities. The grade 11's and 12's went on an Ottawa trip and I couldn't go. I had to learn to be content with the circumstances."
Around that same time, Zuniga-Guzman's class voted for her to be the valedictorian.
"Having that honour and privilege of them voting for me, it almost made up for the time that I felt had been taken away."
After graduation and summer, Zuniga-Guzman will be attending the University of Manitoba to take her U1.
"In earlier years, sometimes I used to depend on my own strength to get through school. But I think I've learned to have a different mindset where I can believe that God can help me through different assignments. Now I have a habit of praying before I write a test and I've learned to depend on God more."
The graduating class at Faith Academy will be celebrating on June 29.
"I feel really excited because my brother graduated differently last year. Being able to sit next to my fellow graduates will be pretty awesome because compared to my brother, everyone was segregated in their cars. I think it'll be really cool to see everyone in a room without masks and enjoy the entire ceremony."