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IOWA STRONG: High school seniors pick up graduation gifts through ‘Adopt A Senior’

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - The closing of schools due to COVID-19 means many senior students are missing out on coming-of-age memories.

That's why Adopt A Senior Facebook group is making sure students still can celebrate their educational milestone.

The Facebook group numbers in the thousands and allows members to "adopt," or sponsor senior students, by donating graduation gifts.

Page organizer, Purvis Williams, still wanted to make high school graduation special.

"Find a kid to mentor, at this time a lot of these kids need mentors. Our main focus is bridging the community gap, trying to bring the communities back together as a whole," Williams said.

The page led to 400 sponsored seniors getting a graduation gift. One of the seniors, Kayla Rathe, now a Dunkerton High School Alumna, plans to head to Hawkeye Community College. Rathe wants to remind seniors to make the most of their time before college.

"When you don't get to make the same memories, it just feels different. You feel left out, but with everything going on, people are still caring about you. They do want to help you get those memories in the same way," Rathe said.

Life after high school is open to opportunities. Tripoli Alumnus Taylen Rettig, awaits to make his decision on what's next.

"I always watched everyone graduate and saw how normal it was, but I always had a feeling my graduation was going to be different, and it definitely is," Rettig said.