CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – High school graduation parties will probably look a little different this year. Seniors across the Valley won’t be surrounded by family and friends, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be celebrations.
Students had their senior years cut short.
“Everything was going great and smooth, and this just hit and it’s basically a low blow,” said Christopher Smith, a senior at Canfield.
Parents and community members continue to think of new ways to help them end their senior year on a high note.
For some schools, like Canfield and Columbiana, that includes an Adopt-a-Senior Facebook page.
“It’s a nice twist,” said Vicki Palmer, the mother of a Canfield senior. “It’s definitely going to be something the Class of 2020 is going to remember.”
The way it works is parents post a picture of their senior to the page and someone volunteers to “adopt” them.
“When you do that, you can send gift cards, make meals, send them little gifts,” said Nichole Rossi, the parent of a Columbiana senior.
“It can bring families and friends together, and we can celebrate this moment,” said Alex Carano, a Canfield senior.
“All the seniors are really grateful,” said Quenton Cross, a senior at Columbiana. “We’re all appreciative of everything everyone’s trying to do for us.”
Seniors can be adopted by someone they know or by a complete stranger.
“I think it’s so nice that people who don’t even have kids at Columbiana are stepping up and they want to help out during these rough times,” said Hunter Zenter, a Columbiana senior.
Although the seniors appreciate the gift cards, flowers and treats, there’s one thing that means a little bit more.
“Having them drive by and drop it off and seeing them for a minute or two, that’s what I’m most appreciative of,” Cross said.
Even though their senior year was cut short, some said looking back on the 12 years makes up for it.
“You think about all the memories you’ve made the past 12 years, they’ve been your pals. You just remember all those times,” Zenter said.
All of Columbiana’s seniors have been adopted — some, more than once. According to the Facebook group, there have been 460 adoptions by 211 different people.
Canfield has had 49 of its seniors adopted multiple times.