SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Students across the country have had their school years cut short in the classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes seniors, who have waited their entire lives to walk across the stage at their graduation ceremony. That might not happen now due to the virus.
One local Facebook group is doing its part to make sure high school seniors feel special and recognized — regardless of the circumstances.
The Adopt a Santa Rosa County Senior Student Facebook group is working to lift the spirits of those disappointed students.
“It’s just something to cheer them up and give them something to focus on other than being at home,” said group founder Kirsten Burton.
Here’s how the group works:
A parent posts to the group page their child’s name, some photos and a description of their child. This shows the student is up for “adoption.”
Then, another group member can choose to “adopt” the child, and for the next few weeks, it’s their job to give the senior gifts or even encouraging messages to get them through the tough time.
“We have seen everything. We have seen gift cards. We have seen gift cards to What-a-burger, Chick-fil-A,” Burton said. “We have seen sunscreen and beach towels so when the beaches are open, they can go visit the beach.”
The page has already had more than 300 students adopted. Burton said administrators on the page are working to make sure there is one adopter per student so every student on the page can get adopted.
Burton said it makes her and other group organizers happy they’re making a difference.
“We’re thankful that we can do this,” she said. “We’re thankful we have the time and the contacts to reach out to people to get people matched and adopted. It just makes us happy.”
Burton said the page will continue the high school senior adoption until the end of May. The group will then move toward helping senior citizens.
You can find the page on Facebook.