By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Recent Palisades Charter High School graduate Jared La Violette’s mother got creative
when he couldn’t walk across the stage for his diploma due to COVID-19 restrictions.
MoNesha La Violette set up and surprised Jared with a congratulatory poster, red carpet and his own stage in front of their home to celebrate on Thursday, June 4—the same day Pali High hosted the virtual graduation for students.
“It was very fun, I woke up and they had everything planned outside,” Jared said about the festivities. “I really enjoyed it.”
She caught him on video dancing toward the stage in his cap and gown while cars honked in support and shared across social media.
“He came out and was surprised about everything going on and that joy in his heart came out through his feet,” MoNesha said. “I shared it on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, and I always share videos so that wasn’t a big deal … it started off as trying to do something to acknowledge his accomplishment, we did not expect for what is happening to be happening.”
MoNesha said the video gained traction after Jason Campbell, “The TikTok Doc,” shared the video to Twitter—but she wasn’t fully aware of the heights it reached until a family member made a comment about seeing him on the television.
“That Monday after graduation my cousin who lives in Washington, D.C., posted a message on my Facebook page saying, ‘Hey I just saw Jared on the ‘Today’ show,’ we had no idea,” MoNesha said.
Since then, Jared’s video has been shared by Access Hollywood, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Tonight and much more. The video has millions of views throughout social media.
“It seems like it’s inspired people and it came at a time where the entire world is really hurting with everything going on,” MoNesha added. “And to see a young, Black man rejoicing and being joyful and celebrating an accomplishment, I think it really resonated with people … the pure joy.”
MoNesha explained that it’s been a rough year for the family, beyond the effects of the novel coronavirus, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and had a double mastectomy followed by 12 rounds of chemotherapy. She had her last day of treatment in May and is now a gracious cancer survivor.
“I think the joy came from me just being happy that my mother got to see me graduate,” Jared said.
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