Canceled proms and virtual graduations are small problems compared to other effects of COVID-19, but they’re a big deal for high school seniors — especially as they prepare to enter adulthood.
Trinity Reed is the senior class president at Whites Creek High School in the northern section of Davidson County. She was named homecoming queen last fall, and she was also expecting to be a speaker at her graduation — a goal she set during her freshman year.
“Honestly I’ve already been really excited about graduating throughout the entire year,” says Reed. “But being that it was cut short … it’s kind of upsetting.”
This is just one disappointment.
Reed also owns a small cosmetic line, The Trinity Effect Unlimited, and has been building a name as a business owner. Before the school year ended, she recalls meeting clients at 4 a.m., while still finding a way to make it to class just a few hours later.
This time last year, during prom season, she brought in more than $1,000 per month.
The coronavirus has cut her profits down to nothing.
“Being an entrepreneur is really hard right now because everybody’s in their home. I’m not making any money at the moment, especially with prom season being canceled,” says Reed. “That’s where I was going to have a lot of my college money.”
Reed says being a senior during a pandemic isn’t easy. Graduation plans are in limbo, and so far all senior activities are canceled.
Metro Nashville Public Schools is providing distance learning support to seniors who need to complete coursework, but students without the need for extra help are essentially finished.
“I’m taking it better than a lot of my other friends because I was able to experience things that other people didn’t get to experience — like our senior trip,” says Reed.
Reed was able to participate last year as a junior ambassador, but she says the rest of her class will never get to do that.
Reed’s mom, Felicia Reed-Kidd — who graduated from Whites Creek in 1994 — says she hopes her daughter will be able to have some kind of official graduation. But she’s planning to make the best of the situation, whatever happens.
“She’s going to have a graduation [even] if she has to walk across the porch in her cap and gown — with everyone in the yard waving at her,” says Felicia Reed-Kidd.