High school can be a trying time for many kids, especially if they don’t feel like they fit in. Iowa mom Angie Sloan was especially worried about her daughter Chelsea, who has Down syndrome, when she was entering junior high. It’s already a challenging time, but she thought perhaps her child wouldn’t be accepted. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Wayne Community Schools is small, with just a little more than 200 students in grades 7 through 12. The school community proved time and again just how much they care about their students and Angie was beyond thrilled that they were so kind to Chelsea during her school career.
When Chelsea was a senior, she was named to the school’s homecoming court. Angie took to Facebook to share an amazing story that happened while the school celebrated homecoming, writing: “Tonight I witnessed true friendship, true kindness, and true selflessness. As many of you know, Chelsea was voted onto homecoming court. She was ecstatic about this.
Ever since she found out, she’s been counting down the days, telling EVERYONE, including doctors, therapists, receptionists, seriously, EVERYONE, she talked to the news. I was so excited, because she doesn’t usually get too worked up about these types of things. We went dress shopping, did her hair, and nails, and she even decided wearing a little make-up would be okay. All of these things made this mama so happy, just getting to experience these normal everyday things that most people take for granted. Unbeknownst to me, the real pride and joy would come later.”
She continued: “This wonderful, selfless, young woman, Katie Gassman chose to share her crown with Chelsea. There really are no words that can describe how I feel. We are so fortunate to live in such a loving community. The students at Wayne Community Schools have proven time and time again that they have kindness and integrity that is so easily forgotten in this day and age. I am so humbled by the love and compassion that they have always shown Chelsea. Thank you Katie. Thank you Carrie Gassman, for raising such a wonderful young woman. Thank you Wayne Community Schools, and thank you Wayne teachers for fostering such a kind, caring environment.”
Turns out, Katie had provided a letter to be read at the event that was shared with the school: “…tonight I would like to share my crown with the girl who always has a smile on her face and has overcome so many hardships.”
Katie took the crown from her head and placed it on Chelsea, as the whole gym erupted in cheers with Katie leading Chelsea to take her place as the homecoming queen.
People who commented on the Facebook post were blown away by the kind gesture, with one person writing: “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was as generous with their achievements and included everyone in celebrations, big and small. What a great school.”
Another commenter agreed, saying, “In a world that always thinks its okay to tease and bully kids like this, here’s a whole high school giving her a standing ovation. What a great bunch of kids this must be. Why can’t more people be like this?”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.