MASON — Prom, scholarship night, graduation – all these events remain uncertain for the Senior Class of 2020.
Wahama High School has initiated a program there, however, to make sure seniors know they are still special in the eyes of the community.
According to Principal Melissa VanMeter, sponsors are being sought for “Adopt-a-Senior.” Those answering the call will send their adopted senior a letter, card, gift basket, gift card, candy, or senior printed item.
“During these hard times we need to find a positive thing to do for our young adults,” VanMeter said on the Facebook announcement. “Let’s come together and make our seniors feel important. We are going to become like their extended families.”
There are 61 seniors to be adopted. VanMeter said she got the idea from a principal Facebook group where they were all discussing things they could do for the seniors.
“This was something one school (in Texas) was doing and I thought it would be great for our community,” she said.
Senior Adrianna Stewart agreed.
“It means a lot, knowing the school cares enough to put something together like this,” she said. “It makes me sad knowing I’m possibly missing out on those last weeks with my classmates before we all go our separate ways. The fact that graduation and prom are uncertain right now makes us all very sad.”
She continued, “We have all gotten our dresses, graduation caps, gowns, and announcements, that are all just sitting in our closets. Knowing our community is coming together right now to try and make us feel special puts a positive light on this dark time.”
Some mothers of the seniors appreciate the effort, as well.
“This has been a hard time for our seniors,” said Joyce Groves, whose son Adam is among the Class of 2020. “They are missing the memories they will cherish forever with friends.”
She said Adam is turning 18 on April 16, but won’t be having a party. Groves said she is humbled, however, because he hasn’t complained a single time about it.
“He is holding up, but I know he also wants to wear that cap and gown and display his accomplishments beside his classmates,” she added. “It means so much that Mrs. VanMeter and the faculty care so much to think of these special activities to keep their spirits up.”
Brandy Hudnall also has a senior son, Brayden Davenport, and said she has watched this take a toll on him since day one. Hudnall said he was devastated to be missing his senior year of baseball and his last sport of his high school career. She added he has lived for sports since he was four years old.
“It breaks my heart,” Hudnall said. “He is also concerned about his welding certification (at the Mason County Career Center), because he hasn’t certified yet, and has put two years towards that to focus on his welding career after graduation.”
She continued, “Being a boy, missing prom hasn’t been a big concern of his, but I hate that he may miss his senior prom. One last school dance, having a good time with his buddies and lifelong friends. The thought of not getting to see him walk across the stage and receive his high school diploma, the thing every kid wishes for to finally be done with school.”
Hudnall said she too, like Groves, is thankful for the thoughtful and caring staff at Wahama, to try and make the best of the situation.
“The Adopt-a-Senior is a pretty neat idea,” she said. “Just to receive a random gift, letter, or words of advice, to know someone is thinking about you in your tough time, as they go through tough times themselves. I know it will put a smile on these kids’ faces. It will give them something positive to look back on in the years to come.”
VanMeter has received permission from the seniors to give their addresses to those wishing to adopt them. Interested participants can email her at Mvanmeter@k12.wv.us to receive the name of a student.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.