High school is hard enough for teenaged girls as is, but when you’re different, it becomes that much more difficult. Maddie Morely, a senior at Folsom High School, has always wanted to go to prom. But because she has special needs, no one has ever asked her. That is, until football star Cooper Richardson, #79, decided to change that.
Maddie is a beautiful young woman with a smile that could light a room. When her name is called up to the stage in front of her entire school, she runs up, and her excitement is just emanating from her. She has no idea what is going on, which makes her even more compelling. She is just a young girl with a zest for life, and she deserves to have her dreams come true.
Appropriately named, the theme for Maddie’s prom is “Evening of Dreams.” When Richardson asks her – sign and flowers in hand – she cannot contain her excitement. “Yes,” she says, her happiness clearly visible in every gesture, facial expression, and her tone of voice.
The video gets even better, though (note: you may want to grab a box of tissues for the second half of the video). Maddie’s mom is there to surprise her too, and as she kisses Maddie on the forehead, we catch her crying tears of joy (which, of course, makes us cry tears of joy as well).
Her mom explains to the videographer, “Going to prom…has been something [Maddie] has wanted to do since she was a little girl. And we never thought it would necessarily happen because there really isn’t, historically, a way for special needs students to be included in a prom.”
When Maddie’s mom opens up about the challenges her daughter has faced, and the fact that she accepted the fact that all of her daughter’s dreams might not come true, it’s eye-opening. Many of us are fortunate enough to never have to consider these problems, but for people like Maddie, this kind of exclusion (albeit unintentional) is a daily occurrence. Maddie and Cooper have opened our eyes to it and made us think that maybe there is a better way of accommodating and, above all, including students with special needs. That is precisely what Evening of Dreams aims to do.
Evening of Dreams is an event put on by the community aimed at helping young kids with disabilities feel like royalty. Maddie dresses the part, in a Cinderella-like white dress fit for a princess.
As we watch Maddie and Cooper enjoying their evening, we can’t help but fall in love with the pair. If you thought you liked Cooper for the sole fact that he asked Maddie to prom, you will like him more when you learn about a tough decision that he had to make regarding the evening. And finally, the video wraps up with one more surprise for Maddie, making this one of the most heartwarming and uplifting videos on the web today.
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