There’s a whole year full of youth heading out into the big world as of this week…it’s graduation time across the West Kootenay…and the rest of the world too. The grad class of 2021 is also the grad class of a global pandemic, who along with last year’s senior classes, had to rise to the challenge of not only achieving a major milestone in their young lives — completing grade school — but also the remarkable 18 months in which the globe grappled with its first major pandemic in a century.

Chirag Mathias was the young man chosen to speak on behalf of LV Rogers grad class, as valedictorian. He joined Kootenay Morning on June 18. Listen to his four minute valediction and a conversation with the 17 year-old here: