Adopt-A-Senior Graduating Class of 2021
with all the usual pomp and circumstance surrounding graduation diminished by yet another year of COVID-19 restrictions, graduating seniors are now offered a different way to be recognized and celebrated. Many schools throughout the nation have started the new tradition of adopting a senior. The program allows graduates a chance to be honored in a new way, through gifts that acknowledge their accomplishments.
“Last year when COVID restrictions started, one of the senior class parents put the program together."
Heritage High School parent Kristine Simone has stepped up to coordinate this effort for the 2021 graduating class. “Last year when COVID restrictions started, one of the senior class parents put the program together. She advertised for volunteers of the Heritage Mom Facebook page. I had a junior student at the time but volunteered to help. I was part of the graduating senior yard sign delivery team. That was something to see! Every single senior we dropped the signs off to was beaming with pride. Just that little bit of recognition for those kids stuck at home and nearing the end of their high school years made a difference. This year, I have a graduating senior myself, so I volunteered to be the coordinator of the Adopt-a-Senior program.”
“These little mementos of their high school years coming to a close, have brought much joy to the students.”
“I think that last year everything came as such a shock, the kids really latched on to this as a way of coping.
Adopt-a-Senior isn’t a school-sanctioned event. Kristine simply posted to the Heritage High School Instagram page inviting any student who would like to participate. When many responded, she then sent out a survey asking them to list their favorite things. The form collects information regarding their favorite candy, place to eat, music group, place to shop, hobbies, sports, etc. These forms are then given to a parent who sponsors the senior. “Gifts can either be given weekly or all at once at the end, which is May 14. I’ve seen kids gifted with enormous baskets filled with their favorite candies and gift cards to their favorite places. Huge balloon arrangements have come through. The popular gift choices lately have been Dutch Bros. gift cards and Crumbl Cookies. Girls really love to receive succulents and twinkle lights. Another popular choice is apparel from the college the graduate will be headed to.”
Over 100 students are participating this year, last year there were more than 400 kids who benefited from the gifting process. Kristine says, “I think that last year everything came as such a shock, the kids really latched on to this as a way of coping. This year, the lessened celebrations are more expected. But we can celebrate the kids in this new way. Hopefully, this will become an added tradition that will carry on throughout the upcoming graduating classes. These little mementos of their high school years coming to a close, have brought much joy to the students. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and I am so happy to have been a part of making these memories for the kids.”