GMA Throws a Live Virtual Graduation for Students at New York’s Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management

By A.J. Katz 

Some positive news as we head into high school and college graduation weekend for many young Americans: This morning, GMA held a live virtual graduation for students at the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management in New York. The school’s class of 2020 is particularly unique because 29 students of the 58 graduating seniors are becoming certified emergency medical technicians, who will be stepping up to serve the City of New York during this challenging period.

Josue Nieves is one of the graduating seniors. He told GMA that his goal to become an EMT is fueled by his desire to improve emergency response times in what he says are underserved communities, like the South Bronx, where he grew up.

“My motive has always been to give back to my community, and make it better and to make a change—this is going to be my chance,” he said. “I want to help so response time is better so we can save more lives.”


Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Nieves, whose mother is also currently serving the community as a healthcare worker, has been inspired more than ever to be on the front lines and serve alongside her as an EMT worker.

“As another member of the health community she knows that it comes with a risk and I’ve always seen her work hard her entire life,” Nieves told GMA. “She knows it’s my time to shine. She’s helping me push forward and she’s proud of me.”

A pretty impressive 18-year-old.

The soon-to-be-graduates received some good cheer in the form of an inspiring commencement speech from the great Matthew McConaughey, a performance by Fitz and the Tantrums, and more.