The Adopt A Senior Facebook page brings positivity and community spirit to the class of 2021

The past year just hasn’t gone according to plan, especially if you’re a senior.

With viewers banned from participating in sporting events, the majority of classes operating through Zoom University, and gatherings kept to a minimum, the alleged winning lap before the seniors entered the real world has been severely dampened.

Enter the Adopt AA Penn State Senior May 2021 Facebook Page, where parents of Penn State seniors come together to positively evaluate an otherwise rather disappointing year.

The site, started by Bridget Nieuwsma Hayes, a Penn State parent, offers older students small care packages tailored to their interests. Hayes started the site after taking inspiration from various “Adopt a Senior” programs that high schools across the country had organized last spring when the pandemic began.

“I have a senior from Penn State, and in January, when this pandemic was ongoing and I realized that his final semester was going to be anything but normal, my heart broke,” said Hayes. “I wanted to do something special for my own senior, and I thought other parents might want to do the same.”

She posted a general interest message on various Penn State Facebook groups that she was a part of, including Class 2021 Parents Page, Penn State Parents Page, and other related groups.

Parents use the site to post a short biography and picture of their older child. From there, the student is added to the “adoption sheet” where another parent can choose based on their interests. Each month before graduation in May, these students receive a gift from another Penn State parent that “makes them feel like it’s a whole community.”

The letter Hayes wrote to other elderly parents

So why bother? While it seems like a lot of additional work coordinating these “adoptions,” Hayes believes it is important for seniors to know that they have the support of the entire Penn State community as they make their way through this difficult final semester.

“The purpose of the program is to make our seniors smile and provide them with something to look forward to, when there are still so many strangers – degrees, internships, jobs, etc. – when they make their trip to Penn Quit State, “said Hayes. “We wanted our seniors to know we were getting it, we understand, we know they have sacrificed and lost so much of their college experience. We wanted them to know that there are other parents [and] Community members who stand behind them and cheer them on. “

So far, around 85 seniors a month have only been adopted through this site and should receive gifts for February, March, April and May. Outside of this page, Hayes says she heard that smaller Penn State communities, like those within the Greek Life and Honor Program, have started similar programs.

Though this school year had many negative effects, Penn Staters like Hayes and other parents are stepping up to make the entire semester a little easier. For other parents who are interested in including their senior in this program, as well as for all parents who want to adopt a senior themselves, the page can be found Here.

Katie Moats is a senior citizen who specializes in English and her goal this year is to get a great girls job. Seriously, if you’re looking for someone who can write and edit like no other, she’s Katelyn Moats on LinkedIn and will literally be interviewing you tomorrow. You can follow her @ k_moats24 on Twitter for silly content. However, if it’s something serious feel free to email her (preferably in the form of a poem) at [email protected]

Comments are closed.