Dad upset his daughter won't have a graduation ceremony transforms driveway into a stage
via Fox 13 Memphis

One of the most disappointing things about the COVID-19 pandemic is that it wiped out graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 whether its kindergarten, eighth grade, high school or college.

Envisioning oneself walking up on stage and grabbing a diploma in front of your peers, family and community is one of the prime motivators that gets people to class.

The Obama's are doing their best to make sure the Class of 2020 has a commencement speaker with a message to help spur them to the next chapter in life. But for the Class of 2020, the end of the school year is more than anti-climactic.


Gabrielle Piece, a graduate from Xavier University in Louisiana, was devastated that she couldn't walk across the stage to accept her diploma in biology, a focus in pre-medicine. "Initially I was upset. I was crying," she told Fox 13 Memphis.

"It took me like a week to stop crying," Gabrielle continued. "I really wanted to walk, I felt like I needed to walk."

via Fox 13 Memphis

Gabrielle's father, Torrence Burson, a man known for over-the-top gestures, was just as upset that she wouldn't get the graduation day she deserved. So he decided to create a ceremony himself."I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night and said, 'That's it. I'm just going to be the graduation here,'" Torrence said.

"After all those years, you're going to walk across somebody's stage if I have to build you one myself," Torrence told his daughter. Torrence built a stage in the driveway of his home, complete with loudspeakers that barred the graduation march. The ceremony had and invocation, a welcome speech and they played Whitney Houston's incredible version of the National Anthem.

Neighbors drove by honking in support of the graduate.

via Fox 13 Memphis

Torrence even printed up a program to celebrate the historic day:

Gabrielle graduated from Southwind High School in 2015 with the ambition to attend the Illustrious Xavier University of Louisana to achieve a degree in Biology Pre-Medicine.

During her junior year of college, she decided to go into another direction in medicine by deciding to go into Public health Science for Epidemiology. After all the trials and tribulations she went through, she completed college with 130 credit hours.

She now plans to join the Armed forces to accomplish her end goal of working for the CDC.

"We love our daughter this much. Regardless of the dollar figure, what it took to pull this off. If I had to do this over again, I'd probably do it even bigger," Torrence said.

"It was just amazing," Gabrielle said. "Better than the actual graduation, because it was more personal."

Gabrielle plans to enter the Air National Guard before going back to school to become an Epidemiologist.


Father pulls out all the stops for 'at-home' graduation after university ceremony canceled www.youtube.com

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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