A story in photos: Virginia senior shows the perspective of the Class of 2020

Coronavirus

James White, a senior at Park View High School,

SOUTH HILL, Va. (WRIC) — The coronavirus outbreak stripped the class of 2020 of a lot of important memories. James White, a senior at Park View High School, decided to express how he and his fellow classmates feel about this time of their lives through a photo shoot.

White said he wants to find a way to tell the story of what he and other seniors are going through.

He said even before the outbreak it had been a tough year for Park View students — their school had been put in lockdown several times and two other seniors died less than a week apart. Just as White thought he was nearing the end the roller coaster ride school year, Park View was shut down because of COVID-19.

“Leaving school that day, we never knew that would be the last time we would see each other,” he said.

“I was just like how can we tell our story or share it with other seniors because we know this has affected seniors nationwide, but how can we tell it from the Park View dragon perspective,” said James White, a senior at Park View High School.

“I was just like, how can we tell our story or share it with other seniors because we know this has affected seniors nationwide, but how can we tell it from the Park View dragon perspective?”

The answer — a photo shoot.

“I’ve always been told by my photography teacher, who got me started in photography, that pictures tell stories,” he said.

After getting permission from the district’s superintendent to take photos on campus, White gathered a couple of his friends and went to work.

One series of photos he’s most proud of is a photo of his friend DeMarcus Lewis walking out of the school like it’s an average day. However, as the camera moves around Lewis, he suddenly has a facemask on.

Leaving school that day, we never knew that would be the last time we would see each other,”

James White

White said he is most disappointed about missing all of the final moments he was going to share with friends this year.

He said watching all of his godbrothers and sisters doing milestone events like senior skip day, field trips to Kings Dominion and preparing for graduation.

“That’s just going to be stuff that we miss out on,” White said. “And not being able to share these moments with my friends that I’m probably not going to be able to see ever again or for a long time … just for it to have all been cut short is what has gotten me.”

Despite how hard this situation is, White said he wants other seniors to keep their heads up and not let this drag them down.

“Especially for me and my friends this has been a disappointing time, but more than anything it has taken our faith to a whole nother level … we believe right now we are in the position for a miracle because a lot of people want to get to the miracle, but you can’t get to the miracle without the bad,” he said.

You can see more of White’s photography on Instagram and Facebook.

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