PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Graduating high school is a major milestone in one’s life, and that’s not lost on Melissa Palumbo and Leah Cooke.

Both women work for Providence Public Schools and since nearly all high school graduations have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, they came up with a creative way to ensure that the city’s graduates receive the attention they deserve.

Palumbo and Cooke created a Facebook group named “Adopt a Senior Providence RI.”

The page connects Rhode Islanders with high school seniors in Providence, and the person who “adopts” the senior sends a celebratory gift to the graduate.

“Every high school has a couple of contact people that are posting about the seniors to nominate them, and when somebody says ‘I’d like to adopt that student,’ they connect,” Palumbo explained.

Palumbo said the group has been active for a week and already has 1,400 members. She said 800 seniors have been adopted.

“After the first post it just really took off,” Cooke said.

While the seniors won’t be walking across a stage as planned, some may be taking a stroll down memory lane. Palumbo said she’s heard dozens of positive stories, but some of her favorites involve former teachers adopting their former students.

“I come from the kindergarten world and a lot of my friends are in the kindergarten world,” she said. “I’ve received a few messages from kindergarten teachers, saying ‘I found my student! From 12 years ago!'”

Palumbo and Cooke’s group is temporarily suspending its “adopt a senior” program, however, another Facebook group has been created that is showcasing seniors from all across Rhode Island.