Inspired by a commercial, two Green River High School students decided to show this community what true beauty is.
The Foundation for a Better Life's television commercial shows a high school girl announcing the prom queen.
Commercial viewers expect to see the stereotypical high school girl being crowned, but a girl with Down Syndrome is the one who receives the crown.
This scenario is something Jackie and Vickie Tramp would like to see come true for Darcie Coats, a GRHS junior who has Down Syndrome.
"Having a brother that has Down Syndrome made us feel like we would want the same thing for him when he is in high school," Vickie said.
Jackie and Vickie have been friends with Coats for a little more than a year and during this time have gotten to know her well. Jackie first met Coats when she was an aide in Coats' class.
Soon, Jackie and Vickie started having lunch with Coats' class whenever they had the chance.
Jackie and Vickie said Coats loves princesses and has always wanted to be one. Coats knew the girls were encouraging people to vote for her for prom queen, but she didn't know what a prom queen was or what exactly a prom queen does.
Vickie said they didn't want to get Coats' hopes up only to have themcrushed if she didn't make it to the top five.
The girls called Coats' mom and asked her if they could put her daughter's name in for prom queen and take photos of her wearing a tiara for the flyers they wanted to put up around school. After receiving her permission, the girls made and hung up the flyers.
About 3 hours later, GRHS students and teachers were commenting about the flyers.
"It spread around the school pretty quickly," Vickie said.
Jackie said the teachers told her most were in favor of Coats becoming prom queen. However, there were some who were not so supportive and could not understand why Jackie and Vickie wanted this for Coats.
"We're not doing this for people to feel forced to vote for her," Jackie said. "We doing this because it will make a big impact on her life and others and how they view things."
Although Coats acts shy, she really loves being the center of attention.
"She would really enjoy being in front of everyone," Jackie said.
Vickie said this is also a way for people to start thinking outside of the box and realize that being prom king and queen does not have to be about popularity or money.
"It can be anyone," Vickie said.
Even if Coats is not crowned prom queen, the girls wanted her to make the top five.
Monday afternoon Jackie and Vickie found out all their work had paid off, and Coats made the top five. They were ecstatic. Even if she isn't crowned prom queen, this is something special.
"She will be able to have that memory," Jackie said.
The students will have the ultimate say in who is crowned prom queen so for now Jackie, Vickie and Coats will have to wait.
Prom king and queen will be crowned at prom May 8.
It's amazing how one commercial could make such an impact. However, Jackie and Vickie are not stopping at prom queen. They are thinking about forming a club called "Best Buddies."
Under this club, GRHS students will be partnered with GRHS special-needs students. They will go to movies, parks and bowling together. The program is a lot like the Big Brother, Big Sister program.
"We would like to see the kids with disabilities have the same opportunities that we have," Vickie said.
The girls are hoping that the program and the prom queen and king nomination processes continue after they graduate. Who knows. Maybe their brother, Brandon, who is in sixth-grade now, will be prom king when he is a junior.
Submitted by Anonymous
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