Skip to main content

Holly Springs Chatter

Commencement's canceled but this Apex Friendship High School senior has plenty to celebrate

While Wake County school leaders look for ways to honor the Class of 2020 after the district decided to forgo traditional commencement exercises due to COVID-19, ABC11 met one Wake senior whose achievements in and out of school made for plenty to celebrate, graduation or not.

"It's just disappointment in what could have been," is how Ive Jones described her first reaction when she heard Friday's news about the commencement cancelation. But, wearing her commencement cap and Apex Friendship High School summa cum laude cord, you get the sense of a 17-year old wise beyond her years.

"High school is not like the movies and TV shows at all. We didn't get to do things the traditional way. But this year has put a lot in perspective," Jones said.

Jones has been interested in making the world better for most of her life. Eight years before COVID-19, Jones, at age 11, was organizing a grassroots fundraising campaign to help African children orphaned by the Ebola outbreak. She set a goal of raising $4,000.

"And I kept pushing, reaching out to larger groups and organizations, churches and fundraising and eventually got to $30,000," she said.

She applied that same focus last year. At 16, she organized an entire conference in Raleigh with leaders and health experts to encourage more young women and people of color to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). And if that wasn't enough to juggle during her junior year in high school, Jones spent any downtime writing essays for her college applications. She applied to more than a few schools.

Complete ABC11 coverage here.