Rhode Islanders “adopt” high school seniors to help lift spirits during graduation

High schoolers across the country are now missing out on their graduation, but one local woman is trying to make things a little different for graduates in Rhode Island.

Salyssa Jones created a Facebook page called “Adopt a 2020 Senior.” Either a parent, a friend or even the senior posts a picture in the group. Then, people will comment to “adopt” that senior, giving them anything from a care package to something as simple as a handwritten note.

Jones graduated in 2017, and she knows all to well what graduation is like, which is why she decided to start the page.

“These seniors work their tails off for the past 12–13 years, now their graduation and prom are taken from them,” Jones said. “So they deserve some type of recognition.”

The gifts are sent to the senior via mail, door stop drop, or any way they feel is safe.

Wendy Baker and her daughter Haily Baker decided to get in on the fun.

“Not being able to walk the stage is tough and working so hard all  4 years,” Hailey Baker said.

Seeing how happy it made her daughter, Wendy Baker also decided to adopt a senior.

“It still lets them know we are all thinking about them and we are so proud of what they did and we understand what they’re going through,” Wendy Baker said. “We are just giving them the little boost they need.”

Jones started the group by asking her friends to join, and now the group has over 700 followers. So far, people have helped over 100 seniors in Rhode Island, according to Jones.

“For them to be able to have their own type of celebration makes them feel special,” Jones said.

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