Scarborough High School senior Jacob Lewis is taking free senior portraits, a project he calls “QuaranTeen Portraits.” The goal, he said on his website, “is is to highlight Scarborough High School seniors, the colleges they are going to, and the activities and/or pastimes that make them who they are.” Courtesy photo Jacob Lewis Media

SCARBOROUGH — Graduation, prom, grad parties, many of these traditional celebrations have had to be cancelled or postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the community hasn’t forgotten Scarborough’s Class of 2020.

Scarborough High School announced a graduation ceremony showing will be held on June 6 at Rock Row in Westbrook, starting at 2:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event, with guests and graduates celebrating from within their vehicles, and seniors with two households are allowed a second vehicle to attend.

Students will be receiving their diplomas June 1 and 2, said the announcement.

As a way for seniors to share their plans for the future with one another, they will be able to create chalk drawings at the maine entrance of the high school between Tuesday through Thursday, June 2 throuh 4, according to a school announcement. Participants should wear masks and social distancing restrictions will be followed. The school district is working on getting a drone to capture the drawings on June 5.

The Scarborough Education Foundation will still be delivering balloons to members of the Class of 2020. This year, SEF is taking donations to raise money to give every senior balloons and messages. Courtesy photo of Scarborough Education Foundation

Something that hasn’t changed, however, is the Scarborough Education Foundation’s Operation Graduation Balloon, which is in its seventh year, said Michelle DuEst, president of the foundation.

“So this year with COVID-19 we were unsure if we were going to make it happen, but we’re still maintaining that tradition, just being able to sell those to seniors,” she said. “This year we’re also doing a balloon general fund so we can make sure every grad gets a balloon and a message.”

The order deadline ended May 23, she said. Volunteers will be delivering balloons during the first week of June.

This year, SEF, Scarborough Schools, and Burr Signs partnered up to make sure all Scarborough seniors received a sign for their front lawns, DuEst said.

With all of the cancellations and disappointments, DuEst said that she was glad that one community tradition could remain.

The Scarborough Education Foundation will be releasing details about how to volunteer for balloon deliveries on their Facebook page, @sefmaine, she said.

“Graduating from high school is such a life-milestone and it’s such an achievement and so many years of hard work that go into it,” DuEst said. “Personally, I feel that there has been a lot that graduating seniors had missed out on and we were excited that this was one small thing that they could still have.”

Scarborough High School senior and photographer Jacob Lewis has been taking senior photos, free of charge, calling this project the QuaranTeen Portraits.

Lewis will arrive to seniors’ homes, where they will pose at their front door, so social distancing is still in effect, he said.

Students model in three different outfits — their Scarborough High School’s senior shirt, their college gear (or something that represents their next steps), and the third is open, usually representing an activity the student enjoys, Lewis said.

“The only thing I have really set in stone is the senior shirt in the middle (of the photo) because the unifying element is them being seniors, so I wanted to place that front and center,” he said.

He said that he enjoys catching up with classmates he hasn’t seen since March.

“I’m doing it for free because I want to celebrate senior year because we had so many opportunities that haven’t come to pass,” he added.

Seniors or families interested in reaching out to Lewis can visit his website, jacoblewismedia.com/quarantine-portraits, or his Instagram page, @jacoblewismedia. He said that he would continue to do QuaranTeen Portraits through June.

“I think it’s important to celebrate seniors because a lot of people have been working tremendously hard,” he said. “This situation we’re in feels a bit anticlimactic. We’ve seen all these people before us getting these big celebrations, and we’re at the same point but it doesn’t feel the same.”

More surprises are coming, announced Scarborough High School. Students and families will be updated.

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