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Adopt-A-Senior: Class of 2021

Submitted by Jessica McGrail and Priya Cheema, Student Journalists for Minarets Press

The “Adopt-a-Senior” event is back up and running for this year’s senior class! As of Feb. 21, 2021, Courtney Herrera, the organizer, has set up a new Facebook group for the Class of 2021 for any senior in the mountain community. For those interested in getting involved, parents can join the group and post information about their graduating senior. Typical posts include pictures and a brief description of the senior, such as their activities, interests, hobbies, and plans for after graduation. Another member of the group will then “adopt” them. Once the senior is adopted, the senior and gift giver will get in contact with each other about gift ideas and getting to know the senior in better detail. The gift giver will then give the senior a token of appreciation so the senior is not forgotten during the COVID season.

Melinda Gresham, a co-organizer, stated that, “Courtney reached out to [her] last year about starting the group since she had seen it in Texas,” and from there, they collaborated together to manage the group. Herrera, a 2017 graduate from Yosemite High School, originally started the Facebook group last year to help the 2020 seniors during the pandemic. Thanks to sharing on social media, the group spread like wildfire, so much that the local Fresno news outlet did a story. Gresham found the experience rewarding, stating that her favorite part was “seeing the pictures of the gift givers and the seniors.”

The logistics of setting up the platform on Facebook were fairly simple, according to Herrera. She explained that her and Gresham merely set up the page, added topics, common rules, and then watched it take off from there. Herrera did have some outside help, namely from the group managers of the page she saw in Texas- the very ones who inspired the project -who were more than glad to offer some advice after she reached out.

Upon reflecting on her own high school experience, Herrera feels that she “was lucky to have the ‘normal’ experience,” but even though graduates during the pandemic haven’t had that, they have done an amazing job “making a rainbow out of an unexpected storm.” The group was formed to give those seniors a chance to feel recognition for all of their hard work and accomplishments.

As of now, eighteen Minarets seniors have been adopted, including Noah Mclaughlin, Emma Bloodworth, Priya Cheema, Chloe Burcham, Molly Smith, Jessica McGrail, Syler Pillsbury, and Jeremiah Stott.

Senior Shelby Graff stated that she is “really thankful to have been a part of Adopt-a-Senior.” Graff continued, “It means a lot to have the community come together and make us feel appreciated during this hard time.”

Like Graff, seniors from the class of 2021 are grateful for the appreciation and recognition from the community. During these trying times, a small act of kindness can mean everything.

If you would like to adopt a senior or add your senior to the adoption list, go to the Adopt-a-Senior Facebook group.

Read the original article here: https://minaretspress4.wixsite.com/minaretspress/post/adopt-a-senior-class-of-2021

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