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Impromptu Graduation Ceremony Takes Flight for Kindergarten Scholar



Quick Smiles:

  • Young Xavier Joel experiences a unique graduation ceremony aboard a flight after missing his school’s official event due to a family wedding.
  • While travelling to Puerto Rico, the young scholar dons his cap and gown mid-flight, turning an ordinary journey into a memorable milestone.
  • Flight attendants and passengers on the Frontier Airlines flight collaborate to make this improvised celebration an unforgettable experience, inducing smiles from everyone on board.

Everyone’s journey has unpredictable, spontaneous, joyous twists. One such delightful detour happened with Xavier Joel, a kindergarten student who missed his official graduation due to a family commitment. Xavier had a family wedding to attend in Puerto Rico on May 15, causing him to miss his milestone— a kindergarten graduation ceremony back at his school in Orlando, Florida.

His mother, Janeiry Jay Rivas, shared, “The date was set based on last year’s kindergarten graduation. I thought we were in the clear since the 2023 graduation was the Saturday after the last day of school.” She was surprised when the ceremony got rescheduled to the day of their family wedding, thus clashing with their plans.

Janeiry, an instinctive mom, had attended the practice ceremony hoping her son wouldn’t notice his absence from the actual event. However, just before the end of the school year, he discovered from his classmates that he was going to miss the real graduation ceremony. Janeiry recalled, “[He] felt sad that he couldn’t attend the actual graduation.”

Aiming to turn the situation around, Janeiry brought along Xavier’s graduation cap and gown for the flight to Puerto Rico. She hoped to take a memorable photo with the pilots, thus turning a disappointment into a joyous occasion.

Upon boarding the Frontier Airlines flight, the upbeat Xavier met a flight attendant named Pamela and shared the story of his missed kindergarten graduation. This conversation ignited a heartwarming idea amongst the flight crew.

A mock graduation ceremony was planned and carried out right in the airplane, 30 minutes before landing. The flight attendants initiated the celebration, and Xavier walked down the aisle of the plane to commemorate the occasion.


According to his mother, “He was presented with gifts, and Pamela even did the tassel move for him.” His face radiating a triumphant grin, Xavier became the star of the day. His unique graduation experience left everyone on the flight inspired and delighted.

Young Xavier felt “excited” and “special” about the unexpected celebration. He even shared his unique graduation story with everyone at the wedding. “He will always remember that special moment,” his mother affirmed, a touch of pride in her voice.

Frontier Airlines expressed joy in supporting this momentous occasion. They stated, “The flight attendants rallied the crew with the necessary arrangements, and together, made his graduation ceremony a reality.” Indeed, the journey to a destination often becomes an adventure itself, and for Xavier—his unforgettable journey will always remind him of his unique graduation.


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