First Time to Prom at The Age of 22

Most people experience their prom night during high school, I actually decided to see a jazz trumpet player named Chris Botti that day. As a 22 year old, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t go to prom. Well, I just didn’t want to be the wall flower so I thought I’d spend my time doing something I enjoy. The President for an upcoming club called Project Art Therapy for Children’s Health at UCF informed me about a wonderful night: Night to Shine!

Night to Shine is a prom night hosted by the Tim Tebow Foundation in which over 350 churches participate to give those ages 14 and up with special needs a memorable night. Many volunteers around the world came together on February 10, 2017 with different contributions such as providing limo rides, caricatures, dinner, s’mores, karaoke and much more! Everyone had a wonderful time! I was appointed “Buddy,” which meant I was VIP along with one of the special guests of honor. Interestingly enough, my ‘date’ and I matched!

There were three pivotal moments of the entire night:

  1. The Crowning: The D.J. announced that those that were VIP would be crowned and be recognized for being the incredible people they were just for being themselves. The females received Tiaras while the guys wore crowns. Within my sight were people who became emotional, remembering who this night was really about.
  2. Karaoke: When my date sang, he sang with all his might. There was no stopping him and party goers nearby chimed in and really brought his spirit up.
  3. The journey: My date was really sweet throughout the night and would introduce me to all of his friends. He repeatedly told me that this was one of the best nights of his life and that I was the most beautiful date he’s ever had. There was a teddy bear that the guests could take home, and instead of keeping it for himself, he gave it to me. This is a direct quote, “I want you to have this teddy bear because I want you to remember how special you are to me.”

How does your heart not melt?

I’m glad that my first prom was not for myself, but to help celebrate others and help them feel more accepted.

If you are interested in volunteering to Night to Shine next time, please visit this site, and check out the highlight video here.