High school

Adopt a High School Senior, and Help Make Graduation Feel Semi-Normal

Parents post a photo of their high school senior, write about their accomplishments and aspirations, then others ask to “adopt” them.

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Senior year has typically been a cherry on top of a high school career, with a prom, and graduation ceremony with family and friends: a rite of passage for every high school senior.

"Having it all gone now, it’s really hard and knowing you’re not going to get it all back is hard too," high school senior Cecilia Ibarra said.

But they are traditions which have been canceled for many in the class of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kimberly Ibarra’s daughter Cecilia is a senior at Rosamond High School.

"It really is a big blow to these kids," she said. "As a parent you always want to try to fix it, anything that’s upsetting them and there’s no protocol for this. We don’t have books to tell us what to do or how to make it a little easier.”

When Victoria Strout started an Instagram feed dedicated to scarves worn by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, she never expected it to become a hit. But more than a feed of photos, Strout says her feed is now a celebration of Dr. Birx, who provides calm leadership during a tough time for all Americans.

That’s why she and Misty Silman started a Facebook page called "Adopt a local 2020 high school senior in the Antelope Valley." Parents post a photo of their high school senior, write about their accomplishments and aspirations, then others ask to “adopt” them.

"There’s people that want to help everybody out right now because this stuff is just crazy," Silman said.

Those who adopt a senior send encouraging letters and care packages, based on a short questionnaire filled out by the students.

“I’m making them all personalized lockets," Silman said.

Cecilia loves to crochet so she received a teddy bear crochet kit and uplifting cards.

Couples whose marriages were postponed due to stay-home orders said 'I do' Friday outside the Honda Center. Mekahlo Medina reports for the NBC4 News at 11 a.m. on Friday April 17, 2020.

"It doesn’t fix it but it makes it a little easier for them to handle," Silman said.

"It really does help to know that someone outside your family is thinking about you and wants to help you during this time," Dewine Moore Jr., a high school senior, said.

While no one knows how long we will need to continue social distancing, the parents we spoke to hope they’ll be able to hold a belated graduation celebration 4th of July weekend. Until then, the adopted seniors know there are people rooting for them.

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