Adopt a Senior movement honors class of 2020

The pandemic put a halt to traditional high school graduation ceremonies but some people are still finding ways to celebrate the class of 2020.

Several Adopt a Senior groups are on a mission to surprise seniors across North Texas.

When members showed up on Duncanville senior Otis McDuff’s front porch with gifts and words of encouragement, he had an emotional moment.

“On behalf of Adopt a Senior group, we wanted to let you know we are proud of you and you have not been forgotten,” the group told McDuff.

Brooklyn Gibson started one local group on Facebook. Her daughter is a senior at DeSoto High School.

“To see the hurt and the look on her face that she wasn’t able to graduate, I just felt like it was something we had to do. And I knew I wasn’t the only parent that felt like that,” she said.

People nominate a graduate and give donations online. So far in Gibson’s group, more than 300 seniors have been adopted.

There are other groups on Facebook for specific schools, school districts and cities across North Texas.

“It made me feel loved,” said Chloe Thomas, a senior at Lancaster High School.

“We’re trying to do something because I don’t think this is fair to them. They worked hard for four years,” said Lakiva Golightly, a parent.

The group wants the class of 2020 to know they’ve not been forgotten and their hard work is something to celebrate.

“So please do not be discouraged. We are all here for you. Congratulations,” the group told McDuff.

Some large school districts like Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs plan to hold virtual graduation ceremonies later this month. Other smaller districts are reserving dates in June and July in case restrictions are lifted.

Seniors in Denton County will have the unique opportunity to graduate at Texas Motor Speedway.