"We have the pen. We write our own story. And that's exactly what you guys are going to do," Rams head coach Sean McVay said in a pre-recorded commencement address to local high school graduates.
Surprises and unexpected changes have been widespread so far in 2020. This year's high school graduating classes didn't receive the typical send-offs they might have hoped for with prom dances and graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they did receive a surprise message from Rams head coach Sean McVay, who provided a few remarks celebrating their accomplishments and providing some words of encouragement as they enter their next chapters.
"Class of 2020, congratulations! I know these are certainly unprecedented times that we are going through and we are missing out on things that we're typically accustomed to, but there has never been a greater time for us to really bond together," said McVay.
McVay's message echoed what he's said to Rams players and coaches during these uncertain times.
"One of the things we talk about with our players all the time is being mentally tough and being our best regardless of the circumstances," said McVay. "Always make sure we never forget that the mentally tough people are the ones who succeed. You are going to use this time as an opportunity to get better so that when we come out of this, we come out stronger."
The commencement remarks were delivered in partnership with UNIFY Financial Credit Union, the official credit union of the Los Angeles Rams. Both organizations continue to find unique ways to engage the Los Angeles community and to position service at the core of their missions.
"These kids put in the hard work and commitment, and due to circumstances out of our control, they are unable to celebrate the way they have dreamed of for years. It was important for UNIFY to be a part of letting them know that we see them and we are proud of them!" said Natasha Ranchigoda, UNIFY's Vice President of Marketing Innovation and Partnerships.
To conclude his address, McVay challenged the graduates to make something positive out of these unfortunate circumstances and reminded them that the Rams organization will rally by their side.
"Demonstrate that mental toughness. Make sure that we use this setback as a set up for a comeback," said McVay. "Congratulations, the Rams are with you guys, all the way."
For more information about the Rams' community outreach efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.