“Adopting 2020 Seniors”- Frisco Woman Helping High School Graduates Feel Celebrated During COVID-19

This article was originally published on June 4, 2020, by Sophie Meinershagen and Carissa Schultze.

Senior, Quentin MacFarlane, receiving his Adopt-a-senior gifts.
The Krispy Kreme promo for the graduating class.

One of the most memorable moments of our lives is our senior year of high school. It’s a time for celebration, senior traditions, prom, and more. However, when FISD made the decision to suspend in-class schooling for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, all of those opportunities seemed to disappear in a flash without any warning. Regina Booth, a mother of one such graduate, decided she wanted to create a semblance of “normalcy” for her child and thought there might be others who would want to do the same. She created a Facebook group called “The Adopt-A-Senior Program”, and it went viral. It exploded all over news channels, websites, social media platforms, and more. What is this program, and what makes it so special?

The Adopt-A-Senior program is a group of families and teachers from various homes that find a senior to “adopt.” Because of the coronavirus, seniors have missed memorable activities and events that help define their senior year. These teens have missed out on prom, graduation, senior weeks, and being able to soak in any final memories before they depart on another chapter of their lives; college. The way the program works is that you join the Facebook Group, Adopt a Frisco ISD Senior, and start bringing the sunshine to their lives. Various parents and guardians of students in the graduating class of 2020 can post information about their children; their hobbies, where they are going to college, their major, etc. Once a senior has been “adopted” by another family, that family brings them gifts and other items to make their day just a little brighter. These gifts include cards, stuffed animals, balloons, gift cards, personalized items, and more!

The founder, Mrs. Booth, has seen the struggle that senior students have endured due to the sudden turn of events firsthand. She wrote a Facebook post stating, “With everything going on and the graduates not able to make memories, We wanted to provide you, as a community, the opportunity to show our graduates that we are behind them with a blessing/gift to a graduating senior…” The “Adopt-A-Senior Program” was begun in April and officially ended on May 22. 4,380 people have become members of this program and have helped Frisco’s class of 2020 have a special sendoff before college, making their last year memorable, even though they’re spending the last days of their senior year in quarantine. Though this program has ended, families are still reaching out to the graduates via billboards and more.

Well-known businesses like Sonic, Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, and Nekter have joined in on the fun. They have donated to the cause as well as opened up their doors to seniors. For example, Krispy Kreme has committed to the cause by giving out free donuts to graduating seniors on May 19th.

When “adopting” a senior, there are no limits to which student you pick; you can choose someone you don’t know or you can choose someone you do. The only rule is that you do not share a student, meaning two people can’t both claim one senior. One student, Quentin MacFarlane, a senior who will soon attend Duke University, was pleasantly surprised when he received his array of gifts. There was a sign with his picture on it, a colorful cluster of balloons, a graduating snoopy stuffed animal, a monetary gift, and other presents his mom had suggested. Quentin’s mom even said, “All of your sweet gifts including the generous cash in the cards so surprised him, and really more than enough.” Although these seniors are missing out on the proper senior year experience, this is helping them get through a hard time.

Regina Booth says, “…Thank you all so much for your (love) and blessing these graduates. You MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR LIVES…”, and that is exactly right. The Adopt-A-Senior program has been a light in a time of darkness that has aided and uplifted many seniors who had to cut their last year of high school short. Hopefully, others can follow their great example and we can make this a memorable time, not for the complications or difficulties, but for all the many positives.

To learn about this program, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/2664336737175662/