Adopt a graduating senior: Dripping Springs class of 2020 embarks new virtual celebration

As of now, over 170 seniors had received goodies from the parents of old classmates, former elementary school teachers and members of the community who just love to spread smiles.

Inside many closets across the country, an unworn graduation cap and gown hangs taunting the class of 2020.

Fortunately, those graduation suits can be worn by seniors at Dripping Springs High School on June 19 during a social distance graduation ceremony, but it’s still not what they expected.

With limited ways to celebrate this milestone, the Dripping Springs community used Facebook to make seniors feel special in ways that had never been seen before the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, local resident Dorothy Lawrence launched the “Adopt a Senior” campaign on local Dripping Springs
Facebook group pages.

She asked parents to post some information about their graduating senior, such as plans after high school and high school accomplishments. Then other members of the community could adopt a senior and give them a little treat to make that senior feel special.

It didn’t take long for parents to coordinate and eagerly get involved. As of now, more than 170 seniors had received goodies from the parents of old classmates, former elementary school teachers and members of the community who just love to spread smiles.

“It’s so cool to see posts of people in the area reconnecting. The parents of kids who were friends in the second grade are reconnecting and adopting each other’s kids. They haven’t talked in years, but came together for this,” Lawrence said.

Soon the “DSHS Class of 2020 Senior Adoption” was full of pictures of seniors next to their care packages, college spirit gear, handmade cards and a lot of Chick-Fil-A gift cards.

Traditional pompous graduation celebrations were traded for the entire Dripping Springs community coming together to make the Class of 2020 feel accomplished.

Lawrence, who is the mother of small children, said she took the initiative to remind seniors that they aren’t alone in this celebration.

“When I look back at senior year, those last six weeks I felt like I owned the school and I know this isn’t what they have been dreaming about, but this is something unlike ever before. I hope they feel the love of the community,”
Lawrence said.

Lawrence has sent and continues to send hand-written cards to each participating senior. She has also sent Cameo videos, a service that pay celebrities to give personal congratulations to people. So far Tamara Green, who plays George Washington in the Broadway musical “Hamilton”, sent a personal message to a student interested in musical theatre.

Lawrence shared the Cameo video with the News-Dispatch because his message rings true not only for Dripping Springs graduates, but everyone who needs to be reminded that dreams aren’t cancelled.

In the meantime, seniors can pick out their outfits for a graduation with social distance measures, according to a
press release. Graduation will take place at 8:30 p.m. June 19. Tickets will be required.

“In order to meet the requirement of 25 percent capacity, each DSHS graduate will be permitted four total guests. The ceremony will be streamed live for those who are unable to attend,” according to the press release.

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