Editorial: Group seeks to assist graduating seniors with supplies

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:38 PM

With the culmination of their pre-collegiate academic career quickly approaching, senior year is a hectic time for high school students. There’s college applications and visits, last attempts at ACT and SAT tests, plus trying to enjoy the final months of your prep experience.

Finally, there’s graduation — the big event. Friends and family gather for a day of hugs, tears and congratulations as a ceremony signifies you’ve arrived as an adult.

For most kids it’s a day they’ve dreamed of for years. For others, the expenses involved in this right of passage can become a nightmare.

For example, a new cap and gown set alone costs close to $60. While that might not seem like much to some families, for others $60 could be the difference between eating and not eating.

For a teen working a minimum wage job in a struggling family, that’s over a day’s wages.

One current Leadership Tomorrow group, labeled the Orange Team, is trying to help lessen the burden with its “Caps For Grads” program.

The team, composed of community members Dustyn Ivey, Kethan Griffin, Jennifer Duerer, Stacy Plemons, Tyler Haynes and Calie Ferguson, is trying to encourage Sevier area graduates to donate their old cap and gown to assist this year’s graduating class.

“We’re rying to collect caps and gowns from Sevier County residents that have already graduated,” Ferguson said Thursday. “Hopefully we’ll gather enough to give back to the seniors in need.”

The team seeks to gather the items, have them dry-cleaned and distribute them to our local high schools by early May. From there, they’d be distributed to students who couldn’t afford to buy the items themselves.

It will be a time-consuming and tedious effort, but it’s a noble one and an act of kindness the class of 2014 should appreciate.

While the group is still working to secure drop-off locations around the county, anyone wishing to give items for the Caps For Grads program can email Ferguson at Calie0805@gmail.com for more information or to arrange donation.