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Best Buddies club goes to Prom

Sitting+on+hay+stacks%2C+the+Best+Buddies+club+poses+for+a+picture+at+Match+of+the+Patch.
Sitting on hay stacks, the Best Buddies club poses for a picture at Match of the Patch.

Sitting on hay stacks, the Best Buddies club poses for a picture at Match of the Patch.

Erika Anstine

Erika Anstine

Sitting on hay stacks, the Best Buddies club poses for a picture at Match of the Patch.

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The Best Buddies club is ending the semester on a festive note by taking students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to Prom.

“[Best Buddies club] really focuses on making kids with IDD feel like they are part of the community,” sophomore Erika Anstine said. “We don’t want them to be isolated, and we want to make sure they’re part of everything we do here in the school–including Prom.”

Because Prom is a part of the high school experience, Best Buddies club members want to make sure every student is able to enjoy the night.

“Prom is this huge high school thing, so if we can get as many people as possible to be able to have fun, go out, get dressed up and just have a good time, [then] that’s great,” sophomore Kristin Priest said.

Anstine helped to organize the group of six students going to Prom.

“I am taking Tyler Hannegan, a senior at our school. I set up a whole group, and we have a few other kids here who are a part of Best Buddies that are going. I’m really excited go dance and have fun with my friends,” Anstine said.

Among the group Anstine organized is sophomore Miqueyla Lopez, who is also a part of the club.

“We have our own table and plan on doing all the festive Prom stuff like taking pictures and going to dinner,” Lopez said.

By participating in the club and attending Prom with students with IDD, Lopez hopes to positively impact the school community.  

“I want the school to realize how capable and great these students are,” Lopez said. “They are truly just like everyone else, and it is just a complete and utter joy being around and hanging out with them.”  

Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to go to things like Prom”

— Erika Anstine

However, the relationships between Best Buddies members and students with IDD were formed earlier this school year through different events.

“At the very beginning of the year, we had a match party, where everybody met their buddy. We went to the pumpkin patch, so it was called Match of the Patch. It was really cute,” Priest said.

Best Buddies club members are simply trying to break down the barrier between neurotypical students and students with IDD.

“Nobody should be treated differently, nobody should be isolated or feel alone.  Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to go to things like Prom,” Anstine said. “It’s important to me that everyone gets that opportunity, especially kids with IDD.”

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Best Buddies club goes to Prom