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Parents of 2020 seniors get creative to make this time special

Posted at 8:40 AM, May 07, 2020

The end of the school year is almost here, and for high school seniors, it's bittersweet.

The coronavirus has already canceled special events, like prom, while the traditional graduation ceremony for many is still in question.

But as we wait for life to rebound and get back to normal, their parents are finding creative ways to celebrate and let everyone know how proud they are.

Ella Smith, a senior at Sunlake High School in Land O' Lakes, never expected her senior year to end like this. No prom, no pomp and circumstance.

But, it's no problem for her parents and plenty of other Tampa Bay area families.

They're turning the outside of their homes into shrines to the class of 2020. Life-sized photos and signs decorate front entrances, highlighting football stars, cheerleaders, band members and academic all-stars!

Smith's parents have a huge banner with her picture on it, congratulating her on her graduation, draped across the entrance to their driveway. Normally, this kind of elaborate display might get and an eye roll from a teenager, but not this year.

"I think it's really great that the senior parents found a way to celebrate us," Smith said. "Especially since so many of our events have been cancelled this year. Including prom, grad bash and our senior breakfast. It really means a lot to me, and I'm sure it means a lot to all of my peers, too."

Janaya Thomas is putting a positive spin on the pandemic.

"We may have been looking forward to end of year festivities, but this has given us time to spend with our family and come up with creative ways to connect with our friends," Thomas said. "This time has given us, as seniors, the ability to look ahead to our future. Whether it's going to college, getting a job, or overall how we're going to make an impact in the world."

Thanks to all this time in quarantine, they're anxious to hit the ground running.