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Teen with Down syndrome wearing a blue prom dress and a group of friends.

Friends Rally Around Friend With Down Syndrome For Prom

YouTube/ KWWL
Uplifting News

Teen With Down Syndrome Doesn’t Have a Date to Prom - So Her Friends Hatch a Plan

This teen will forever remember her special prom night.

Prom is supposed to be a special time for a teen. It’s a time of celebration and friendship, and recognizing all of your life’s achievements so far. However, it can also be a hard time for those who don’t feel like they fit in, or whose plans for their prom don’t pan out the way they’d hoped.

That’s when the kindness of others can make a very big difference in a person’s life, and that’s particularly true in this heartwarming story.

Hatching a Plan

A group of teens pose for a photo before prom

Annie and her friends attend the prom


Iowa native Annie Schlarmann, who has Down syndrome, is a junior at Monticello High School. She had been looking forward to her prom, reports KWWL, but she didn’t have anyone to go with her. When her friends heard that she was going alone, they came together and hatched a plan.

“We thought it would be so fun to make her night special,” Maria McCarthy told the outlet. “So, we all got together, and we got to do so much fun stuff, like we got to go out to eat, we went axe throwing, and we got ice cream.”

The group didn’t think twice. They said Annie is a wonderful person and that no one deserved a special night more than her.

“I don't think there's anyone more deserving of it than Annie,” Kennedy Simon said. “I don't think I've ever met more of a bright, happy human. She's so caring, she's so fun, she's genuine. She's always making jokes.”

“Anyone should have this special night,” added Kate Green. “Annie deserves it more than anyone, so I'm glad we were able to do that for her.”

The Night of a Lifetime

For Annie, her friends coming together to celebrate with her was more meaningful than she could ever imagine. She fought back tears speaking with the outlet, recalling how great the night was. After all, going to prom with 11 of your good friends is better than going with a single date, right?

“I had a lot of fun last night because my friends are nice to me, and I love them,” she said. “They mean a lot to me.”

Others were inspired by the kind act as well. Annie’s sister, who is a teacher, said these kids are a great example of how wonderful the next generation can be.

“I always impress on my students how important learning is at school, but it's not just the academics they're learning, but shaping them into people,” she added. “This was just a beautiful example of what kindness and empathy look like.”

A Lasting Impact

Annie revealed she will remember her prom night for the rest of her life, but she wasn’t the only one touched by the kind act. Annie’s mom, Sue Schlarmann, said she will remember it forever as well. As the mother of a child with Down syndrome, she said she worries about her kid, and this gesture meant everything.

"It just was a special thing that they asked her to go because when you have a child with a disability, you're always hoping that they're going to get the same opportunities as your other children,” she explained.

“So to have them have such a genuine and kind heart and reach out and ask Annie to go to prom is something special.”

We're All the Same

As one of the teens in this story pointed out, everyone deserves to have a special prom, no matter who you are. No one is better than anyone else, no matter what privileges you are or aren’t born with. These kids know that, and it’s a great reminder for the rest of us.

We’re all important to the functioning of society, and we all deserve love, happiness, and hope. Sometimes we can feel less than or that we aren’t actually deserving of such things, so to hear it from someone else can be an important and uplifting experience. That means now is as good a time as any to boost someone else in your life with a kind word or gesture.

At the end of the day, we really are all the same, and we all deserve to feel special. So send the flowers, craft a text, or plan something nice. You never know when you might need that little boost of confidence in turn, and kindness really is what makes the world go round.

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