Across the country, thousands of teens are graduating without traditional pomp and circumstance due to Coronavirus restrictions. Yet, Nashville-native Dontrail Spencer is making the best of his situation in a viral video that has garnered 3 million views and counting.

Watching the video as Spencer makes his way through Pearl-Cohn High School, in a drive-thru graduation, with his graduation cap and diploma in hand, you cannot help but to smile and cry right along with Spencer in celebration of his milestone.


“Dean Jordan, I graduated!” you hear Spencer shouting from his car, excitedly waving his diploma.

A staff member shouts as he passes, “I’m proud of you Dontrail! Love you, man!” “I’ll always see you Ms. Smith. Love you too,” Spencer says back, with tears falling.

Spencer faced a long road getting to this point, yet with the help of Gideon’s Army, an organization that works to keep kids off of the streets, he made it.

“When our children graduate it means so much,” Rasheedat Fetuga, president of Gideon’s Army, said in a statement. “They have fought through a system set against them. And won.”

In an interview with WTVF, Spencer credited the organization with helping him get to graduation.

“It was just an emotional day for me, to see myself graduate…I never thought I’d see myself in a cap and gown with a big diploma in my hand,” Spencer told WTVF. “It was emotional. I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. All I could do was shed tears of joy, that was all I did.”

If you haven’t seen the video, check out a snippet of it below in addition to the interview with both Spencer and his mom, Tamika Hawkins. We could not be prouder of this young man and all of the graduates in the class of 2020. Keep reaching for beyond the stars because they are just the beginning!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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