Dora Machado, 18 (Audio story included)

Dora Machado is a senior at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School and also a student-athlete. She played softball for her high school, but her season was cut short by the pandemic.

After Miami-Dade schools closed, all students began remote learning. High school seniors like Dora worry the closure will ruin their year and that they’ll miss out on high school’s most memorable moments.

Here is Dora’s story:

“I really dislike the fact that I won’t get to experience my senior year classes with the people who’ve made my high school experience come together. . . After 12 years of taking classes at a Miami-Dade public school, I expected this year to be exciting, to be rigorous but enjoyable.

“As of right now they haven’t made any accommodations so we’re probably not going to have a prom… For sure no prom, for sure no Grad Bash and I don’t know about graduation. We’ll see how that goes.”

Dora also played softball and as a senior, she was looking forward to her last season and being able to show off her skills and maybe play at the college level.

“I only got to play half of the season. . . I missed out on my senior game, something I’ve been looking forward to ever since my freshman year. . .I also lost the opportunity to play in front of college recruiters. I missed the opportunity of getting my stats up. So there were just a lot of opportunities and fun times that I waited for and I am not going to get to experience. I might’ve played my last high school softball game and I didn’t even know it.”

Chelsea Perez is a Cuban-American who has interned as a production assistant for The CW of South Florida. She will graduate with a Bachelor's Degree of Communications in Broadcast Media from FIU. Her goal is to represent the Latino community and one day become an entertainment reporter, while also exploring other parts of production.