What was once a night of dresses, tuxes, partying, and popularity has now been redefined as a night to reach out and include everyone in the festivities.
Matty Marcone, a student in Canton, Massachusetts, has special needs and several medical issues. He never dreamed that he was going to be asked to prom, but his friend and classmate, Kaitlin McCarthy, changed that.
Kaitlin invited Matty to Prom after he claimed he was going to buy Disney World for her.
“I said, if he’s going to buy Disney World for me, I should bring him to the prom,” said Kaitlin.
With the help of the hockey team, special education teachers, and school nurses, Matty was able to attend prom with Kaitlin and other friends. Matty and Kaitlin were voted Prom King and Prom Queen.
While Matty was invited to prom by Kaitlin, another special needs teen in New York was about to get asked to prom as well.
Michael Pagano has autism and had been rejected by several girls he had asked to prom. However, senior and friend, Sarah Kardonsky, had a plan to invite Michael to the prom.
Michael is a New York Jets fan, which led Sarah to asking the Jets players via Instagram to help her make a video prom invitation. Nine Jets players total sent videos to Sarah asking Michael if he would go to the dance with her.
And while this invitation to prom led to national publicity, including a spot on a popular daytime television show, Sarah was more concerned that her friend was happy.
“People who worry so much about what dress to wear or who to go with, that’s not what prom is about. Prom is about having a good time. You should just be surrounded by people who make you happy.”