Community “adopts” local high school seniors

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – With social distancing still encouraged, graduation ceremonies aren’t what parents are used to and graduation parties are nearly impossible.

In Raleigh County, seniors missed out on prom and will likely miss out on a variety of graduation traditions.

“I was pretty disappointed,” said Shady Spring senior Ethan Morgan. “That’s kind of something we’ve been looking forward to pretty much our whole lives and it getting canceled was kind of a heartbreaker.”

While many seniors are disappointed, the community wasn’t going to let them feel forgotten. A Raleigh County native started an “Adopt-a-Senior” Facebook group to show seniors a little love.

“[The purpose is] to send them a card to say ‘hey, keep your head up,’ or ‘congratulations, we see you, even though you may not have a formal graduation like everyone else up-to-date has,’” said Leigh Morgan, Ethan’s mother and one of the first members of the group.

Parents and seniors can share information about the student to the page. Community members symbolically adopt a senior and send them letters of encouragement or graduation gifts.

“Since it’s such a hard time, everybody kind of coming together and really supporting us [is] really uplifting and it’s made everything a lot better,” said Ethan.

Thanks to the community, every local senior has been adopted at least once.

You can find the Facebook group here.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at