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EDGEWOOD, Ky. – The coronavirus pandemic has all but ended senior year for many high schoolers across the country, but two Northern Kentucky parents turned to social media to make sure graduating seniors in the area still make some lasting memories.
“Everyday it changes," Dixie Heights High School parent Amanda Gilbert said. "We never know what tomorrow’s going to hold.”
Needless to say, this is not the senior year Amanda Gilbert had pictured for her daughter McKaila Johnson. No track season, no prom and a graduation that keeps getting delayed.
“For it to be stripped away like this is just heartbreaking,” Gilbert said.
Mckaila Johnson and Caitlin Jett are best friends and seniors at Dixie Heights High School in Kenton County.
“It’s been kind of hard. Especially because we’ve been waiting for this day to be seniors and have our senior season for track and all these things," Johnson said.
Johnson and Jett are finishing up their classes from home, but said they miss seeing all the other students at their school and their teachers.
"When we left we thought we would be coming back and we would get to say our final goodbyes," Johnson said. "We didn’t get to say those to those teachers and the students and everybody there.”
The girls' parents thought senior year was a big deal and all these students were missing out on a lot of memories -- so they turned to the community to help do something special for kids all over the Tri-state.
“We just want our seniors to be proud of themselves and let them know we’re proud of them," Caitlin's mom, Holly Jett, said. "Just the messages we get everyday thanking us for doing this.”
Holly Jett and Amanda Gilbert created the Facebook group Adopt a Senior in NKY. They were inspired by seeing similar groups popping up in other parts of the country. Visitors to the page post pictures and stories about their kids set to graduate and total strangers offer to write letters of encouragement or even sometimes send small gifts.
“There’s so many people in the community that are wanting to give back," Gilbert said. "They’re wanting to show these students that we acknowledge what you’ve done and we’re proud of you.”
The two women and their daughters said teachers and staff at Dixie have been great and continue to make the best out of the situation.
The Facebook page has been up for less than four days and already has more than 5,000 members from all over the Tri-State -- each one eager to make this senior year a special one for every student.