Grove Senior Helps Special Need Students Experience Prom
GROVE, Oklahoma - A Green Country high school senior is making this weekend's prom a special occasion for a group of students who might not have been able to attend.
Grove High School senior Stefani Morse is taking five students from her school's special needs class to the big dance.
Spring semester in high school means brushing up for final exams and prepping for prom.
"I mean, when you're a kid it's something you can't wait to do," Morse said.
Morse has to use a wheelchair because of a neurological condition. She has special plans for her senior prom and it centers around 16-year-old Braden Clary.
Braden was born with cerebral palsy; his brain is just fine but his body is severely impaired.
Stefani met Braden when she began volunteering in the schools special needs class. It took no time for a special bond to develop between the two.
The more she was around Braden and the other special needs kids, Stefani realized something: they don't always get to do what other students get to do, that includes prom.
"They're just like teenagers," Morse said. "They have fits; they have personalities; they like to have fun; they joke around. Why not involve them?"
So Saturday night, at the 2012 Grove High School Prom, Stefani is taking five kids from the special needs class to the dance - a move that overwhelmed Braden's mom.
"I think it's great because we never really thought he would get to do anything like this," Brandon's mother Christal Clary said.
Stefani's doing more than just taking the kids to the prom. She's arranged to have lunch catered for all of them Saturday afternoon.
She got the corsages and boutonniere's donated, and just before the doors open Saturday night, she's arranged for those all important prom pictures.
But there's still more to the story and it has to do with Stefani's wheelchair. It was only four months ago when she learned about her medical condition and discovered she'll need the wheelchair for the rest of her life.
The news came well after she started planning to take Braden and the other special needs kids to the prom.
"This is just a road bump," Stefani said. "But it has definitely not stopped me in any way."
Stefani dreams next year's class picks up the ball and the special needs kids are able to go to prom again. She hopes others can look past the physical challenges and sees what she sees in kids like Braden.
"Because I don't look at them differently," Stefani said. "They're just like any other regular kid."