Nearly forty-five students at East Juniata High School in Pennsylvania recreated their high school graduation this month for a classmate who missed the event while in a coma.

On May 22, a few days before his graduation, senior Scott Dunn was on the way to a track meet when he lost control of his vehicle.  After the accident, doctors kept Scott sedated and he didn’t wake up until six days later.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and asking my mom what day it was. She told me it was the 28th,” he said. “First thing I said, I looked at her and said, ‘I missed my graduation’.”

After a couple of days, East Juniata principal Mr. Fausey called to express the school’s wish to do something special for Scott.

On a Tuesday night in June, about 45 students gathered for the second time in their school auditorium wearing their caps and gowns.  Scott’s parents sat in the front while a few brief speeches were made and one name was called: “Scott Dunn.”  As he walked across the stage to receive his diploma, the crowd of his peers cheered.

“It’s really nice to be able to celebrate him,” graduate Ashlyn Guyer said.

“As soon as they said they were having this graduation,” said Clayton Willow, “I was immediately going to come. Because it’s Scott. He’s my friend.”

Scott says he was never the best student, but is proud of what he’s accomplished and is thankful for all the support shown.

“I’m speechless,” he said. “I don’t know how to even explain it. I’m speechless to know that this many people are behind me.”

As a Midwestern girl, Josie enjoys living in the plains, but would love to travel the globe, already having spent several months abroad during her studies in Austria. After graduating, she spends much of her time reading, writing, walking, running, dancing, and living! Josie would love nothing more than to empower others to be able to do the same.