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(Photo - Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

This year’s senior class missed many of its milestones while it spent the past year sitting at a computer screen.

But a special, grassroots effort has been mounted to remind seniors in Livermore and Dublin that they are special and to keep looking forward.

“Adopt-a-senior has become a fun way to help celebrate our seniors,” said Kristin Meyer, whose son is a senior at Granada High School in Livermore. “The goal of this group is to make the 2021 senior year better and brighter for a senior you may know, or you may not know ... you can help make it better, and you don’t have to know them personally to pass on some kindness.”

The group Meyer helped start at Granada was inspired by similar efforts made by parents in Dublin, at both Dublin High School (DHS) and Valley High School. Parents at Livermore High School also followed suit and began their own group this year.

Diana Hernandez is a teacher at DHS and a parent at Granada. She said that some parents with sophomores, who will graduate in 2023, asked if there was something they could do for the seniors to make their last year special.

“I reached out to a parent, and she suggested a similar program in San Ramon, but that revolved around seniors adopting seniors ... we thought we could open it up to the class of ’23, and then other classes, and then the community,” Hernandez said. “That way, senior parents don’t have to do the adopting.”

Hernandez created a Facebook group for seniors from Dublin to be posted and adopted. So far, 175 of DHS’s 806 seniors have been posted and adopted.

Adopters are asked to offer support to their seniors with small gifts or notes of encouragement as often as they like. There are no minimum requirements, and Hernandez hopes the community will take an interest, so that all of the seniors will receive a little extra love this spring.

“I think reaching out to senior students to support them is so important,” said Hernandez. “I feel some of the students are just a little nervous about being posted, and there is a list we are tracking off line for parents who have reached out and said their student doesn’t want to be posted, so they can be adopted and not be posted.”

Christine Foster is leading the charge with her fellow senior parents for their students at Livermore High School. Foster saw Dublin’s program and thought Livermore High needed something for their seniors as well.

“We are giving people the option to adopt one or more seniors or to donate items like money, movie theater tickets, candy, things like that. And we will use the donations to cover unadopted seniors,” Foster said. “Our biggest goal is to get every senor adopted. We really want the kids to have something special ... This is a fun way for the community to show the seniors they have not been forgotten and can end their year with some extra love from friends, family and community members.”

Foster is asking adopters do something special for their senior for graduation, between June 1 and 10. Gifts and notes leading up to graduation are up to the adopters’ discretion.

According to Meyer, Pinterest is full of ideas for adopting a senior, and gifts don’t have to be big and flashy. Simple reminders that they are special will mean a lot to this year’s graduating class.

Sophia Franco is a member of Granada’s class of 2021. She said she was initially nervous about getting adopted but has enjoyed the experience.

“I’m not the biggest fan of asking for gifts or receiving gifts, especially when I’m not giving something in return, but it’s been going great,” said Franco, 18. “The person who chose me is very involved and enthusiastic, and it’s very sweet. I think the whole program is to make people feel cared about, and this does the job. People are enthusiastic to try and make our school year a little better.”

Amador Valley High School and Foothill High School in Pleasanton have chosen not to follow the adopt-a-senior models, but instead are running special monthly activities for their seniors.

To post or adopt a senior from Dublin or Valley high schools, visit bit.ly/37UWXmD or email see_di@yahoo.com. To post or adopt a senior from Granada High School, visit bit.ly/3sIeA0G or email skmeyer24@comcast.net. To post or adopt a senior from Livermore High School, visit bit.ly/305Don8 or call 925-548-7686.