When schools shut down in March, many seniors or soon to be seniors were disappointed. The year that is often hailed as the most enjoyable part of high school was set to be starkly different from what they had hoped. To help make their senior year more upbeat, parents and teachers across the country instituted the Adopt a Senior program. The concept is simple, with hopes it could make a difference.
Parents at Patchogue-Medford High School created a Facebook page called “Adopt a Senior.” Parents or students can post a description of a senior they know, writing their accomplishments, the schools they had gotten into, where they had chosen to go, their major, and any other important information. They could then add a picture of their senior, and other parents on the page can choose to adopt them.
Once a student has been “adopted,” they are given gifts that are intended to brighten their last days in high school. What the adopter chooses to give is entirely up to them. “It’s up to the people,” said Jennifer Frascogna, a Patchogue-Medford parent and active member of the “Adopt a Senior” Facebook page. In addition to being customizable, the program encourages COVID-safety; a contactless gift adopter can just drop it off at the person’s house.
“You can drop a gift off at their house, you can drop gifts off continuously. The gifts can be small or large and everyone gets different things,” she added. “It is positive both ways... it makes you feel good to make them [a senior] feel special.”
Seniors at Patchogue-Medford High School imagined their senior year to be like past years, with Raider Bowl and prom. Frascogna hopes that the program will stay, even after the pandemic is over, because not only does the program benefit students, it also benefits the greater community.
Local businesses, she said, are also able to advertise on the Facebook page and students who receive gifts purchased from local businesses can post a picture of their gift to promote them. Local dessert-maker Jennifer Messina, owner of Dazzling Desserts, Dazzling Dessert Tables on Instagram and Facebook, is advertised on the page. She said that the Patchogue-Medford community helped her promote her business as an active member of her community, making desserts for school fundraisers and making dessert boxes for members of the Boys and Girls Club.