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Graduates struggle to find jobs after difficult semester learning online due to COVID-19

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BATON ROUGE - Southern University's fall commencement ceremony was held outdoors at A.W. Mumford Football Stadium with strict safety guidelines in place due to COVID-19.

Hundreds of graduates lined up in the bleachers where they sat 6-feet apart from one another while wearing face coverings. Prior to entering the stadium, temperatures were checked at the door.

"I think it went as smoothly as it possibly could have been," Southern Graduate Erysee Green said.

Psychology major Erysee Green graduated as one of the leaders of her class. She served as the student marshal for her outstanding academic and leadership achievements.

Though her college graduation was not like she anticipated, Green was grateful for the opportunity to have a ceremony at all.

"I think they've done a great job in accommodating for everyone, ensuring that we can still have a ceremony. I think it makes it that much more special," Green said.

The celebration followed a difficult semester of learning virtually, for the most part.

More than 450 students graduated from the university Friday and are now heading into the workforce while facing a COVID-impacted economy and high unemployment.

"It's a little intimidating to think about, but I think for the most part there are plenty of resources and opportunities for me. I just have to find the right one," Green said.

Though the outbreak has led to challenging work and employment conditions, the demand for workers in the medical field is at a record high.

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