LAWRENCE, Kan. — With school physically canceled around the country due to the coronavirus, many end-of-year activities, including prom, have been nixed as well. But two seniors from Lawrence found a way to celebrate.
Sydney Johnston, a senior at Lawrence Freestate High School, said the changes and cancellations have been heartbreaking.
"I loved high school, and I loved going to Freestate High School," Johnston said.
She was looking forward to those events that would have closed out her senior year – especially prom.
"I really wanted a prom, I really wanted a graduation," Johnston said. "Those were my two things where like, 'This is my end.'"
But, not all hope was lost. Her boyfriend, Jackson Grant, had something up his sleeve this past Saturday, the day prom was supposed to happen.
"I was up late thinking about ways I could surprise her, and I just came to the conclusion that the best way to do it was show up dressed up, ready to have our own little social distancing prom," Grant said.
He had her parents tell a little white lie so she would dress up. Johnston received a text from her boyfriend to come outside and found him dressed up as if they were going to prom.
Grant had set up a 'drive-way prom' – from decorations to dinner – and even had a projector ready to watch a movie. They watched "High School Musical 3: Senior Year."
"We pulled in our cars, opened our trunks and sat outside there and would occasionally poke our heads out and say hi to each other," Johnston said.
The Lawrence seniors said while they wanted to have prom with their friends, this was a perfect alternative.
"Just spending time together and having something we could do to make the best of it, it was great," Grant said.
"I have that memory that this was my senior prom and I am perfectly OK with that," Johnston said.