Back in ancient times, (I’m talking the 1960s), graduating high school seniors like me could expect the following from their parents:
- a packet of graduation photos
- a rented tuxedo for the boys, a new dress for the girls
- for prom night, a borrowed car and spending money for the boys, cab fare and warnings for the girls
- a pat on the back
For today’s high school grads, those are merely the starting point. Open houses — some in rented halls or hotel suites — are standard, as are limousine rides, and financial gifts totaling hundreds of dollars.
And then there is Kayla Hawkins. She got her own billboard.
The 10′-6 x 36′ sign is located on the John Lodge Freeway service drive in Detroit, between McNichols and 7 Mile Road.
Kayla is a 2013 graduate of Detroit Country Day School (DCDS). A spokesman for CBS Outdoor, which owns the billboard, said such recognition for teenagers “is pretty rare.” How rare? Apparently, it only happens in the Hawkins family. According to a news report, Kayla’s older sister, Lauren, also received a billboard when she graduated from high school two years ago.
The price? The family isn’t commenting, but such billboards typically run between $3,800 and $4,000 for a month-long run.
That may seem like a lot of money to say “job well done,” but it’s all relative. The average Midwest family spends $722 on a high school graduation. Tuition at DCDS is $27,700 annually. Four grand for a really big greeting card might actually be a bargain.