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Community rallies around Adopt a Senior intiative

With in-person classes canceled for the remainder of the school year and large gatherings — like prom and graduation — prohibited, the community has rallied around the Class of 2020 to make sure their final semester of their senior year is still special. 

Kristen Mullins has seen that support come out in droves on a Facebook group she started this week to allow community members to “adopt” a senior. 

“I saw something similar done in Jessamine County, and I thought it was a neat idea,” Mullins said in a phone interview Thursday. 

Mullins’ little brother is a member of the Class of 2020 at George Rogers Clark High School, so her family knows firsthand how the shutdown has impacted high school seniors. 

“It’s been very emotional for my brother and for my family,” she said. “He was going to be the first of three children to graduate from GRC, so we were all very excited to see him walk across the stage. It’s heartbreaking.” 

Knowing that other families were experiencing that same heartbreak, Mullins thought the community could come together to ease the pain. 

On the Adopt a Clark County Senior Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2649625368599408) more than 100 local students have already been selected by friends, families or total strangers to be honored. 

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “There has been such a huge response that I had to ask someone to help me moderate the page. I know there have been concerns about some students being left out, but so far, every student posted has been adopted, and some of them have been adopted four or five times.” 

Mullins said parents or anyone who knows a senior can post a photo of the student along with some information about them on the group’s page. Then, others in the group will comment that they would like to adopt the senior. It’s up to the adoptee and the family to connect and figure out how to get the gifts or notes to the student. 

Adopting a senior can look different for each adoptee, she said, and the gestures can be big or small. 

“If you can’t send gift cards or gifts, send a card,” she said. “Do anything to let them know they are important, that the community is there for them and they are not alone.” 

Mullins stressed that the initiative is open to all seniors in Clark County, not just students at GRC. 

“Any private school students or homeschool students are welcome to participate, too,” she said. “We don’t want to leave anyone out.” 

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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