Padres infielder to 2020 grads: No pandemic is big enough ‘to silence your passion’

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) –  The San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Padres are teaming up to celebrate local high school seniors whose graduation ceremonies have gone virtual or been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Wednesday.

“Our seniors are not only missing out on interacting with friends and teachers, but also the loss of experiences and memories like graduation and prom,” Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “We are thankful our hometown team came through for our students as they move on to the next stage of their lives.”

The Padres created a video message congratulating the Class of 2020 on their upcoming graduation. It features Ty France, a Padres third baseman who graduated from San Diego State University.

In the video, France encourages graduating seniors to “have faith in your ability to create new memories and milestones” and reminds them that they “have the power to make the most of this unfortunate situation” before offering his congratulations and letting them know “we can’t wait to see what you do with this opportunity to truly shine.”

The office of education and the Padres partner on other projects throughout the year, including recognizing school district teachers of the year with Teacher Appreciation Night. With games being canceled due to the pandemic, this year featured a virtual recognition.

The Swingin’ Friar dropped into a Zoom meeting with the reigning San Diego County Teachers of the Year, offering a special thank you from the Padres.

France’s video message to 2020 graduates is posted below.

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