Our dreams won’t wait

The Class of 2020 is pursuing their goals, no matter what.

The Class of 2020 is moving forward with support from technology.

5-minute read

Last spring, millions of students in the class of 2020 adapted to a new way of learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four members of this historic class – Cami, Mica, José, and Kimberly – shared their experiences and future goals with us, to inspire all those preparing for another unprecedented school year.

Meet the students

2:20

Meet the students

2:20

“We're so inspired by the students around the world who have navigated these uncertain times and remained committed to their learning goals. To help support learning for everyone, anywhere, we announced over 50 new product features – and will continue to adapt our tools to meet the evolving needs of educators, students and families across the globe.”

Avni Shah, VP Google for Education
Learn more

Kimberly Cheung

Visual collage featuring Kimberly growing up. From left to right: Kimberly’s school portrait from childhood, Kimberly at the  beach with her family, Kimberly climbing a tree, Kimberly working on a laptop in bed, Kimberly playing basketball.
Visual collage featuring Kimberly growing up. From left to right: Kimberly’s school portrait from childhood, Kimberly at the  beach with her family, Kimberly climbing a tree, Kimberly working on a laptop in bed, Kimberly playing basketball.

“Even though I’m excited for college, I’ve decided to take a gap year so I can learn about what’s going on in my community and what’s needed.”

Kimberly’s video diary

0:35

My grandparents had to sacrifice a lot for my parents to have a better life in America. And I’m really grateful for all that my parents have done for me and my brother to make sure that we got the best education we could. I’ve learned from my family that success is really about being there for someone else. And lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can give back.

It was a tough decision because I am used to racing from one thing to the next, but I’ve decided to take a gap year before starting college. I want to take some time to listen and reflect on what my community really needs right now. So that when I go back to school, I’ll be ready to put my education to use.

Kimberly at the beach climbing on a piece of wood. Kimberly wearing graduation cap and gown.
Kimberly at the beach climbing on a piece of wood. Kimberly wearing graduation cap and gown.

“As graduates, we need to figure out what values we're going to hold on to, as we seek out change and fight for a world that we all want to live in.”

Mica Smith-Dahl

Visual collage featuring Mica growing up. From left to right: Mica and sister, Cami, on a carousel, Mica’s mother holding Mica and Cami in her arms, Portrait of Mica smiling, Mica working on a laptop at a kitchen table, Mica and friends celebrating graduation.
Visual collage featuring Mica growing up. From left to right: Mica and sister, Cami, on a carousel, Mica’s mother holding Mica and Cami in her arms, Portrait of Mica smiling, Mica working on a laptop at a kitchen table, Mica and friends celebrating graduation.

“I ran for school board because I wanted to be a voice for students like me.”

As a student director on the Oakland school board, I represented 36,000 public school students in my city. Growing up, I struggled with a learning disability. As a student leader, I used my experience to empower others who have faced similar challenges: You have to believe in yourself, and little by little, you can do it.

I live with my mother and twin sister, Cami (aka Booberry), in West Oakland, California. Even though finishing school from home was not easy for me, I am grateful that we’ve been able to spend more time together as a family. This year, I’m studying education, ethnic studies, and art at Mills College, and I hope to intern on the school board.

Mica in graduation cap and gown, Mica as a young child making a speech on stage.
Mica in graduation cap and gown, Mica as a young child making a speech on stage.

“You have to believe in yourself, and little by little, you can do it.”

José Lecaros

Visual collage featuring José growing up. From left to right:  Josés mom holding him as a baby in a field of flowers, Jose with his siblings at home, José playing piano, José working on his laptop in bed, Jose in graduation cap and gown.
Visual collage featuring José growing up. From left to right:  Josés mom holding him as a baby in a field of flowers, Jose with his siblings at home, José playing piano, José working on his laptop in bed, Jose in graduation cap and gown.

“I think COVID-19 has brought people together through loss, but I don’t want to be defined in that sense.”

After I found out that my school was closing in the U.K., I had less than 10 hours to say goodbye to all my friends, pack my bags, and fly back to the States to be with my family in Colorado.

I think the hardest part was not knowing when I would be able to see my girlfriend again. We stayed in touch over video chat until I was able to return to the U.K. to see her and to attend Edinburgh University. The current political and social climate is one of the main reasons I chose to pursue international relations. I think a lot of young people are feeling empowered to really start turning the cogwheels of the system.

Portrait of José at home in bedroom. José as a young child, holding his baby brother in his arms.
Portrait of José at home in bedroom. José as a young child, holding his baby brother in his arms.

“Appreciate your friendships, because you will miss them when they’re gone.”

Cami Smith-Dahl

“I come from a long line of strong women who have paved the way. I hope to do the same for those who will follow me.”

Cami’s video diary

1:09

I went from attending a public elementary school to a private high school where I was one of only three Black students in my grade. It was a culture shock at first, and even though I’d always been a good student, I struggled to adapt to the new environment. I became the president of the Black Student Union because I wanted to help make my school a more welcoming place for students who are different.

I’m currently studying filmmaking at USC. It’s always been my dream to make movies so that little girls like me could see themselves as heroes. I had to make my decision before really knowing what school would look like this year. But I felt like this was the first step in pursuing my dreams. I didn’t want to wait.

Visual collage featuring Cami growing up. From left to right:  Cami and sister, Mica, as children with ice cream cones, Cami and Mica as children recording each other with a film camera, Cami resting on her bed holding a cat, Cami at the kitchen table, Cami and Mica in graduation caps and gowns.
Visual collage featuring Cami growing up. From left to right:  Cami and sister, Mica, as children with ice cream cones, Cami and Mica as children recording each other with a film camera, Cami resting on her bed holding a cat, Cami at the kitchen table, Cami and Mica in graduation caps and gowns.
Portrait of Cami as a child smiling. Cami taking a selfie with her phone.
Portrait of Cami as a child smiling. Cami taking a selfie with her phone.

“I think 20 or 30 years from now, really amazing things are going to come from this generation. I am looking forward to that.”

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