An Arlington group founded by Debra Torres has initiated an “Adopt a Senior” project to give local, soon-to-be high school graduates a positive experience after their school careers were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The group is about helping Arlington ISD 2020 Seniors find someone in the community to celebrate them regardless of what school they go to in the district,” Torres says. “These students have lost some of the most unforgettable moments that would occur as a senior. We simply wanted to find a way to let them know that all their hard work is not going unnoticed and that we can come together as a community and help them feel loved.”
Torres, who has a senior daughter, Sariah, got the idea for the project from a similar one in Grand Prairie. In the beginning, the two of them managed posts on the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/173295420439069/?ref=bookmarks, staying up all hours of the night making sure that every student was getting adopted. The group grew so rapidly that Torres asked the assistance of two others, Dee Richardson and Stephanie Cook.
“They have been an amazing help,” Torres says. “They are constantly going through hundreds of posts daily and helping to answer questions, making sure no student gets left unadopted.”
The project works like this: A post is made by someone close to the 2020 Senior with information about
them, such as where they go to school, where they plan to
go after graduation and their accomplishments. An “adopter” then searches and finds who they would like to adopt.” Adopters are not limited to the amount of unadopted students they would like to adopt and can be parents of seniors, as well. Adopters reach out to the family of the chosen senior to find out location drop-offs, student favorites and anything else they may need to know. They then choose what and how often to send things, such as letters of encouragement, snacks, gifts – whatever they feel is in their hearts to give the student.
“The response from the community as been so great,” Torres says. “Everyone is willing to participate and open their heart to these students in their time of need. The amount of love these students are getting is amazing to see. Photos of the student and gifts are shared, and just seeing the smiles on their faces is so heart warming.”
The project will end on May 31. If you would like to adopt a senior, email Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org.