Chicago family holds backyard graduation for their medical student daughter and her friend

In the era of coronavirus, typical graduations have become non-existent.

So, one Morgan Park family is making sure their daughter and her friend get the ceremony they deserve for completing medical school.

The front yard of Lindsay Howard’s home says it all. There is a banner and balloons, because she and her medical school roommate are both graduating virtually.

Lindsay’s family is making sure it is a moment they will never forget.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for 24 years,” Lindsay said.

Since she was 5-years-old, Lindsay dreamed of becoming a doctor. But graduating from the Medical College of Wisconsin during the coronavirus crisis was not quite what she expected.

“I was really kind of bummed out when everything got canceled,” Lindsay said.

That is when her family stepped in.

“We had to find a way to still make it very special for her,” Lindsay’s brother Larry said.

So, they turned on the music, got dressed up, put up some decorations, and held the momentous Hooding Ceremony from Lindsay’s backyard.

“The Hooding Ceremony is just one aspect of them moving towards being conferred as a doctor,” said Lindsay’s mother Gail.

During their socially distant celebration, family joined virtually from afar.

The Howards also honored Lindsay’s roommate, Brandy Norman, who is from Las Vegas and could not celebrate with her own family.

“It’s been amazing. A lot of med-school I wouldn’t have gotten through without them,” Brandy said.

Even a photographer was present to capture the unique milestone on camera.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” brother Larry said.

Lindsay and Brandy’s virtual graduation ceremony will be held Friday.