At the beginning of 2020, the novel Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19, broke out in the United States. By March, Indiana schools were closing indefinitely. On April 2, 2020, Mayor Eric Holcomb of Indiana officially closed all schools for the remainder of the school year. This resulted in the cancellations of spring sports, prom, performing arts events and the in-person graduation ceremony for the senior class of 2020.
Due to the rapid spread of the virus, establishments lowered the capacity of visitors drastically. Shortly after these changes were placed, seniors were burdened with the thought of not having a graduation ceremony. However, this would not stop Warren Central from giving the senior class their deserved recognition.
Both students and staff have stepped in to find ways to make the senior class’ last year spectacular, even if things didn’t go the way they had always thought. One particular student stood up and produced something so positive and creative, making it a way to reach as many students as possible: an Instagram account recognizing Warren Central seniors.
Junior Alaun Mays single-handedly runs the account. Mays revealed that the act was done out of sympathy for the senior class.
“I’ve always been the person to speak out and to advocate for myself and others.” Mays said. “Knowing that a graduation is something a scholar looks forward to, to solidify their next chapter in life and not being able to receive that kind of recognition weighs negatively on one.”
On Mays’ page, @wchs20snrs, one can find videos of teacher inspiration, school wide news and the senior class of 2020. Seniors can get their own post by submitting a picture of themself, their name, what school they’ll be attending in fall and their intended major or majors. With over 800 people in Warren Central’s senior class, this task is quite time consuming, especially for one person to take on.
“I knew that effort would be given”, Mays explained. “But I did not focus on how long this would take or dread doing this. When one has a passion to be a help to others and wants to shed light upon situations, the process is easy and it’s done as if it is second nature”.
Mays is working to create positivity one the page and has even received equally pleasant feedback. Mays created highlights to group seniors that are going to the same colleges or have the same post-secondary plans, which can really help people find common interests and make the transition to college easier. Mays has even been contacted by college administrators and students who want to reach out to future students and provide them with any help that they may need going into this next school year.
With the current state of the world, students are left uncertain about their futures and education. People are often told to remain optimistic, which in times like this can be very hard. With people like Alaun Mays and Warren Central staff and students working to spread positivity and make the entire process run smoothly, remaining calm has gotten easier.