145 Special Needs Students from all over the South Plains Head to an Extra Special Prom


On Wednesday, over 145 students from twelve different cities and co-ops over the South Plains headed to Lubbock for the annual prom for special needs students. 

The prom is hosted most years for special needs students in District 17 schools, but this year Shallowater High School Senior Modesta Molina asked to be in charge of the event as part of her senior project.

“I thought it would be Shallowater and just a little school with only 6 people, and then it ended up being the whole Region 17,” explained Molina who planned, decorated, and hosted the event for students who traveled from as far away as Denver City. 
Molina wanted to plan this event because she noticed that  students with special needs don’t always feel welcome at their own high school prom. 
“They don’t really go to prom, our school allows them to go to prom, but there’s some times where kids don’t want to go,”  she said. 
That’s why Molina focused on making all of the tiny details of this event special: to show the students it’s their time to shine. 
Local businesses donated desserts for the event and Olive Garden catered lunch for everyone. In total the guests ate 21 cases of lasagna and over 240 bread sticks. 
“You get to see all your friends here, and everybody, it’s awesome you get to see great people,” said Mark Hilm of Frenship High School who was overjoyed to be at the prom. 
Students dressed in their very best, and despite their nerves about meeting teens from other schools, they got the courage to ask new friends to dance.
Eric McCray of Plainview High School said that he will graduate soon and have to think about looking for a job. But for now he’s enjoying events like this prom, that will form the memories he’ll keep forever of high school. 
“A moment in time a while ago, I just wanted to cry because I saw those kids dancing and they just felt so happy at the time,” Molina said. ” It was just like, there were no worries in the world. I had so many worries about this but it ended up going great .”

Molina hopes to work in the speech pathology field after she graduates.

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