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Subway riders throw 'graduation' for college student stuck on train

By Daniel Uria
Subway riders throw 'graduation' for college student stuck on train
Passengers on a New York subway threw an impromptu graduation ceremony for Jerich Marco Alcantara, who was late to his commencement at Hunter College after the train was delayed for several hours. Screen capture/WABC/Nadiya Afzal

May 31 (UPI) -- Riders on a delayed subway train in New York joined in on a makeshift graduation ceremony for a college student who was late for his commencement.

Nadiya Afzal shared video to Facebook as passengers gathered around Hunter College graduate Jerich Marco Alcantara for the impromptu ceremony in the subway on Tuesday.

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"Poor kid missed his graduation because of the train delay this morning...so we threw him a graduation on the train," she wrote.

Alcantara told WABC the E train was delayed between stops in Queens after a malfunction that caused the emergency brakes to trigger. The situation worsened when his rescue train was delayed as the result of signal problems at the next station.

"I was on track to be at my commencement at 9:15 a.m., but the delays altogether ended up taking almost three hours," he told New York Magazine. "After 45 minutes, I knew I was already late, but I kept hoping that I'd at least make it to walking the stage."

The delays ultimately extinguished Alcantara's hopes, so he and some of his family and friends who were on the train decided to make the best of the situation by holding their own ceremony on the train as Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" played in the background.

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"It wasn't so much an idea, but something that just happened," Alcantara said. "Everyone was getting antsy and impatient, so I figured I'd lighten the mood by thanking everyone for coming out. That led to applause, and the rest just followed."

One of Alcantara's friends closed out the proceedings by presenting him with a makeshift diploma on his phone which read "Certificate of good job yu r a nurse now maybe."

Following the ceremony Alcantara offered the other riders the opportunity to download the certificate via the Airdrop feature on their phones.

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