By Rosy Cordero
May 17, 2020 at 12:13 PM EDT
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Barack Obama shared a special message with class of 2020 graduates who were unable to celebrate due to the coronavirus pandemic. The former President of the United States released a video commencement speech on Saturday with words of encouragement for outgoing high school and college students on their momentous milestone.

"Graduation is a big achievement under any circumstances," Obama begins the video clip. "Some of you have had to overcome serious obstacles along the way. Whether it was an illness or a parent losing a job, or living in a neighborhood where people too often count you out. Then, just as you're about to celebrate having made it through. Just as you've been looking forward to proms and senior night's, graduation ceremonies and, let's face it, a whole bunch of parties, the world is turned upside down by a pandemic."

High school and college celebrations were canceled across the country due to the highly contagious coronavirus that has claimed more than 80,000 deaths in the United States to date.

"With all the challenges this country faces right now nobody can tell you, 'No, you're too young to understand' or 'This is how it's always been done.' Because with so much uncertainty but everything suddenly up for grabs, this is your generation's world to shape."

Watch the full message in the video clip above.

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.

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