Coronavirus cuts foreign exchange student's stay short in Papillion

By  | 

PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) -- The school year has been cut short, but for most students, it's "see ya next year."

Celine Duong is a foreign exchange student from Germany and for nearly a year Kris's daughter. Since the coronavirus closed schools, Celine returned to Germany. (WOWT)

For one Papillion South student, it's "until next time."

RELATED: More coverage | Global cases | Metro cases

Kris Epps-Martinez is missing one of her kids -- Celine

"She's just this amazing kid. She made the honor roll. She was involved in the school musical. She participated in band. She was even going to try out tennis this year.”

Celine Duong is a foreign exchange student from Germany and for nearly a year Kris's daughter.

Since the coronavirus closed schools, Celine returned to Germany.

"It's always hard to have them leave. It's like sending your own kid. They become your kid.”

This is the first time they’ve seen each other since Celine left --- through Skype.

Celine: "On the one hand, I like to see my family, and be with them, but on the other hand I miss America already."

Two things Celine looked forward to and missed -- prom and graduation.

Martinez: "I really couldn't help much with prom, but I did have a cap and gown that one of the kids left."

Duong: "It was cool to wear the cap and gown like you see in the movies. It was really cool."

Martinez: "We couldn't make the virus not be here, but what we can do is help to fulfill some of those special moments for these kids because those moments are special to us too."

The stay was cut short, but memories made that will never fade.

Celine says she plans to return to America and visit her new family next summer if the virus threat ends.