VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) --- The power of a handwritten letter isn't lost on Shelly Slocum.

Before graduating from Ocean Lakes High School, the senior decided to say “thank you,” on paper, to every single one of her high school teachers.

“Since freshmen year,” said Slocum. “Including study blocks, behind-the-wheel and guidance counselors.”

Slocum has written 32 letters in all, and each teacher gets one of her senior pictures and a thoughtful message.

“Generally the main positive memory I get from my teachers is already there,” said Slocum. “So you just write about it.”

The 18-year-old aspiring journalist first walked into Ocean Lakes four years ago from a small private school. She admits, it was an adjustment.

“Coming into hundreds of people was a little difficult, but I think it was my teachers who helped me through it.”

Now, the letters are Shelly’s way of returning the favor.

Instead of an email, Facebook post or a text message, Shelly went the old school route- pen, paper and heart.

“There’s no telling how my life would have turned out if teachers like you didn’t care so much and help me through it,” said Slocum, reading one of the letters.