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Pathfinders Program Goes to Prom

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Life skills teacher Lauren Backer poses with student Clark Grace. The life skills prom was held at Maude Cobb activity center in Longview.

Life skills teacher Lauren Backer poses with student Clark Grace. The life skills prom was held at Maude Cobb activity center in Longview.

Josie Gradick

Josie Gradick

Life skills teacher Lauren Backer poses with student Clark Grace. The life skills prom was held at Maude Cobb activity center in Longview.

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The Pathfinders program travelled to Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center in Longview, Texas on May 11 for a prom. It was held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I love everything about the prom,” organizer and teacher Jan Simmons said. “[My favorite part is] just the fact that my students get excited about dressing up and getting to go to a prom just like everyone else.”

At the prom, students were encouraged to dance and sing along with the 30 other school districts represented there. Photo booths matching the theme of bows, boots and bowties were available.

[My favorite part is] just the fact that my students get excited about dressing up and getting to go to a prom just like everyone else.”

— Jan Simmons

“My favorite part was seeing all of the kids smiling, dancing and getting out of their comfort zones,” senior Sydney Fuller said. “The atmosphere was pure positivity.”

Over 40 schools participate in the special needs prom. Because of this, only five students were chosen to be buddies for the prom.

“I volunteered because all of the events I have worked that involved the special needs kids [have] been a blast,” senior Bendria Edwards said. “They have very good hearts, and they are all super fun to be around.”

Every year, a different organization is asked to help by providing buddies for special needs students at the prom. Key Club helped this year.

“I had a lot of fun seeing the kids have fun, dance around and let loose,” Edwards said. “If this wasn’t my senior year, I would definitely want to do it again next year.”

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Pathfinders Program Goes to Prom