HARLINGEN — Although the Class of 2020 graduates had an unexpected end to their school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students such as Madison Harris, 18, continue to make the most out of every experience.

On May 23, Harlingen CISD held its virtual graduation ceremony for the Harlingen School of Health Professions.

With the help of family and friends, Madison, a HSHP graduating senior, was able to celebrate her graduation in a unique setting.

For the past several years, Madison has been accompanying her mother at farmers markets on the weekends to help her with her business, “Peggy’s Cakes and More.”

So when Madison realized her virtual graduation ceremony was scheduled during an upcoming farmer’s market, she decided it was best to attend the farmers market and told her mom they could watch a recording of the ceremony after the market closes.

Unbeknownst to Madison, her family and friends created a surprise graduation ceremony at the farmers market.

“I have a big mobile store truck that I have fresh baked goods on and canned items so I got my brother to bring a TV to hang on the truck so we could watch the graduation at the market,” Madison’s mother Peggy Harris said. “It was the beginning of things to come that Madison has no idea about.”

In addition to being able to view the ceremony at the farmers market, several vendors gave gifts to Madison and she was able to celebrate along with some family and friends, such as her classmate Josh.

“One of my friends showed up. He thought he was picking up an order or something and then his whole family showed up and we were like, hold on, we’re not picking up orders are we,” Madison said. “So it was kind of surprising for both of us.”

Peggy describes her daughter as a very smart, caring and hardworking young lady.

“During the graduation, as Madison is dressed up in her graduation outfit, a couple of ladies wanted bread and I was away from the truck,” Peggy said. “Madison steps right up without a thought. She is a kid that just keeps rolling with the punches.”

Madison will attend Texas State University in the fall and will major in exercise and sport science with a concentration in pre-rehabilitation.

Madison said although she will miss her family and friends, she is greatly looking forward to living in a larger city, meeting new people and continuing her education.

“So many vendors at the market stepped up to help me along with friends to make the best out of a bad situation,” Peggy said. “Her freshman orientation for Texas State was cancelled and we’re not sure if class will be held in a classroom yet, but she is still staying positive about the future.”