Residents ‘adopt’ high school seniors as pandemic interrupts graduation celebrations

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SAN DIEGO — Many momentous occasions like high school graduation have been interrupted by the pandemic, so people are getting creative with how to still celebrate.

A Facebook group was created calling on the community to “adopt” a high school senior and show them some love during this time. It now has more than 8,000 members and only continues to grow.

“I just got sucked in. They all had such incredible stories and then I couldn’t help myself and I had to start adopting them,” said East County resident Sandra Welch.

Just search “Adopt A High School Senior 2020 San Diego County” on Facebook and you’ll find countless posts from parents or students themselves sharing about their high school experience.

While these students are already being celebrated by their own families, the idea is to keep their spirits up and continue to make them feel special.

“We would have had senior breakfast, senior awards, grad night, graduation, so with all those being lost it’s been kind of a down time,” said Welch’s daughter, Courtney Chase.

When a member of the group comments “adopted” on a post, that means a surprise is coming the student’s way.

“Being a surprised just felt really nice because it’s a nice uplifting moment from all of the cancellations and all the stuff that’s going on,” said Chase, who’s been surprised herself and helped her mom surprise several other seniors.

Welch has had such a good time paying it forward, she completed her seventh “adoption” this week.

“I want them to feel special and know how grateful I am for everything they’ve done. These are incredible kids and I don’t want them to think that it’s gone unnoticed.”

The deadline to submit a senior on the page is June 1, but anyone can volunteer to adopt a high school senior.

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