Everyone has heard the saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”. If anyone has been handed lemons over the past month, it has been the graduating senior classes at Scott High School and Oneida High School. Many end of the year activities are on a wait-and-see basis, such as prom and graduation. But people throughout Scott County are stepping up to make sure the class of 2020 has something to smile about.
Over the weekend, two Facebook groups were created within minutes of each other: Adopt a Scott County Senior and SHS Adopt a Grad. The premise behind both groups is the same. Parents can post a picture of their senior along with a short biography. Members of the page comment if they want to “adopt” that senior by giving them a goodie basket, gift card, or present and placing it on their porch.
Crystal Stanley, the founder of Adopt a Scott County Senior, is quick to not take credit for the idea. “I was invited to a (similar) group in Fentress County, who borrowed from someone in Knox County. I loved the idea and created the page so we could show our local seniors some love!, “ Stanley said.
Stanley is not the parent to a senior, but she sympathises with them. “My heart goes out to these seniors. What was supposed to be the best school year ever was swept out from under their feet,” she shared.
As the parent to a Scott High School senior, Bryce Newport knew first hand how the students were feeling. “My son, Jacob, was heartbroken after only getting to play 2 baseball games beofre his season came to an abrupt end. After seeing his hearthace, I just wanted the county to pull together and help put a smile on these kids’ faces after all the trials they had to face,” said Newport.
Pull together is exactly what the county has done. Newport’s SHS Adopt a Grad group now has almost 600 members in just a little over 48 hours. Adopt a Scott County Senior, which serves the seniors of Oneida and Scott High, has over 1,200.
Businesses throughout the community, such as Baby J’s pizza and The Beautique Tanning and Essentials, are reminding members of the Facebook groups that they offer gift certificates, while the Scott County Chamber of Commerce has also stepped in to mail each senior a grauation card.
“I am honestly not surprised at how this county has come together to support our seniors,” Stanley mentioned. “The people here are amazing and come together when needed.”
For seniors such as Elizabeth Cotton, these Facebook pages mean more than most may realize. “We have all gone through a lot of different emotions this past month. It’s good to know that we have not been forgotten, and it’s good to have a community that loves us,” the OHS senior said.
Three people have already commented that they will adopt Elizabeth, which was a joyous moment for the 18-year-old. “To have been ‘adopted’ by some people that I hold dear to my heart was amazing. I just love how the whole community has come together to do something like this for all of us,” she said.