COVID -19; CLASS OF 2020: Jam Cataldo Defers First Semester at Brandeis University

Editor’s Note: WestfordCAT asked intern Carolyn Crimmins, a sophomore at Endicott College, to find half a dozen graduating Westford Academy seniors and interview them on camera and in print. We asked how they’re coping with COVID-19 regulations that delayed their graduation ceremony, forced them to cancel their prom, ended spring sports, and required them to stay home instead of heading to a traditional class trip to Disney World. But they were so beyond that. 

The other featured class members were Lucy Xiao, Elle Whitehead, Caroline Burke, Jack Pappas, and Heather Bortolussi.

Jam Cataldo, Class of 2020

Jam Cataldo, WA Class of 2020. COURTESY PHOTO

“I’m deferring my first semester of the year.”

What are you doing this summer?

“This summer I’m working as a zoom camp counselor at summer school for the Performing Arts, mostly.  Yes it’s mostly online. There are a couple of days in person but we keep socially distant on the lawn at WA. But other than that we’re directing plays by the zoom platform “

What have you been doing to keep active?

“That’s a good question. I am doing online workouts and stuff. I definitely go on a lot of walks with my family. I think as most people are doing. I’m just enjoying the outdoors. it’s really nice cause it’s nice and warm out “

Then you’re taking a gap year right?

“I am deferring my first semester of the year.“

What is your major or minor going to be?

“I was planning on majoring in Theater Arts and double minoring in teaching education and English.“

Where are you planning to go to college ?

“Brandeis University in Waltham. “

What are you going to miss the most about WA?

“I’m going to miss the teachers and the students probably the most. Just being able to see that group of people everyday. It was just a really nice structure and a very good environment for me.”

 What extracurricular activities besides theater would you be interested in?

“I definitely just want to collaborate with people in general on obviously art in all these different realms. Just clubs in general. Community service. Things that I can really get out and do. And environmental science organizations, as well. I would love to get involved at school.“

And were you able to physically see the college?

“Ah yes I went on many visits before everything shut down so yes yeah “

And then how has the virus affected you personally?

I think in the ways that it has affected most people, just not being able to see people and celebrate big accomplishments in my life. Like graduating this year in the way that I had planned and thought I would. So that’s definitely been kind of difficult. And also I’m really close with my extended family and my grandparents and such but because obviously I don’t want to get them sick,  I haven’t been able to see them as often and that’s really difficult.“