Adopt-a-Senior: Helping high school seniors end the year on a high note

Adopt-A-Senior program assures Baton Rouge students they're cared for during pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - High school has been anything but normal for outgoing seniors around Baton Rouge.

Their four years of high school started with the 2016 flood and is now ending in the middle of a pandemic.

The students didn’t get to experience prom or graduation, just isolation. The end of school looked pretty bleak for many.

“It’s been a rollercoaster,” said Shelbi Lambert, an outgoing senior at University View Academy.

To prevent her daughter from ending the school year on a sour note, Shelbi’s mother, Lauren Kennedy, signed her up for Baton Rouge’s Adopt-a-Senior program.

The program takes seniors and connects them to total strangers who want to ensure the students know they are being supported.

“We weren't looking for money, we weren't looking for gifts, we weren't looking for, I really didn't know what to expect from it,” Kennedy said.

The program was started by Lucia Lawson. She wanted to help support the seniors but did not know of an organization to do so.

“My intention was kind of just personal. I wanted to find someone to help and then once it got a little bit overwhelming,” said Lawson. “I already have four seniors and it’s more and more people are helping and this is just by the grace of God."

The group started with just a handful of soon-to-be graduates but has grown far beyond what Lawson ever thought it would.

“We've been able to have 460 plus seniors adopted to date and the group has been in existence for a week,” she said.

Adopters can send gifts, money, or just encouraging messages to make sure the students know they are supported.

Adopters in the Adopt-a-Senior program can send support in many different ways. Founder, Lucia Lawson, not only sends random gifts, but also sends encouraging text messages to make sure her senior knows she has a support system behind her.
Adopters in the Adopt-a-Senior program can send support in many different ways. Founder, Lucia Lawson, not only sends random gifts, but also sends encouraging text messages to make sure her senior knows she has a support system behind her. (Source: Shelbi Lambert)

"The intent is to take a senior and pour into their life,” Lawson said.

Lawson said she still has numerous seniors who need to be adopted.

If you would like to get involved, you can message Lucia through the group’s Facebook page. You can also email her at bradoptasenior@gmail.com.

There’s also a Facebook group dedicated to adopting seniors in West Baton Rouge Parish. Click here for details.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.