WORTHINGTON — This year's graduating seniors are missing out on a number of traditional honors, so WHS senior Cynthia Souksavath decided to honor her class in a unique way: by creating an Instagram page that displays the seniors' pictures, future plans and a meaningful quote.
Souksavath said she got the idea from connecting with fellow members of her college matriculating class at the University of Minnesota, where she will start in the fall.
She joined a Facebook group of U of M freshmen, which led her to following a number of her classmates on Instagram. Souksavath noticed that some of her new friends were sharing images that announced where they would be next year. Some high schools, like Eden Prairie, even had a group for collecting all of these images.
Souksavath tossed the idea around with her friends, who encouraged her to start a page for WHS.
"It got bigger than I thought," the senior said.
In the interest of uniformity, Souksavath tried several options for a program and a format. She eventually landed on Google Slides as the easiest way to create her vision.
Using her own picture and information, she arrived at a layout: the senior's picture on the left side of the image, and their name, college and major (or military branch or employment plans) on the right side. The caption of each Instagram post is a quote chosen by each senior.
Once Souksavath created the page, @classof2020_whs, she began following a bunch of seniors' accounts, inviting them to submit their pictures and information and asking them to repost their finished image to spread the word.
Souksavath said she decided to include a senior quote because WHS doesn't do that in the yearbook. Plus, "you can see their character" in the quote they choose, she added.
"It's a great time to honor where everyone is going," Souksavath said. "It's really hard for seniors, with prom getting pushed off and graduation at stake. On our last day of school, we didn't know it was our last day, so we didn't make the most of it.
"We just need to realize that we're not the only ones having a hard time," she added. "Principals and teachers are frustrated, too."
The senior said she hopes her project will provide the senior class with an uplifting diversion and help them remember that the future is bright.