Paralympic gold medalist accepts invitation to autistic boy's prom
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
A young man's dream will come true when he attends a local prom with his celebrity guest on Saturday night. He invited her in a special video message.
Now, 12-year old Jake Arbeen is bouncing with excitement on the eve of Saturday's event.
“I'm gonna have fun at prom,” he said, bouncing on a small trampoline in the kitchen of his family’s Burke, Virginia home. “I'm going to wear my fancy shirt!”
The Dreams for Kids DC prom is organized each year for young adults with physical and developmental disabilities.
Jake's prom date is Cortney Jordan, a Paralympic gold medalist.
“And it was so sweet and he was so enthusiastic,” Jordan said. “I mean how could I say no to that. I had to say yes.”
Jordan is not just a star swimmer; she's also a 4th grade teacher in Jessup, Maryland.
“I've just always been interested in helping kids with different abilities,” she said. “As a person with a physical disability, I recognize that sometimes people may not treat you the same because of the difference in your ability.”
Each year, celebrities like Jordan volunteer to attend the event as guests. This year, Ashley Darby of the Real Housewives of Potomac will also be there.
Jake - who has autism – loves all the Dreams for Kids DC events held throughout the year.
“You get to see your kids enjoying themselves and maybe being their best selves and doing things that you maybe never thought they would do,” his mother Heather Arbeen said, holding back tears.
Jake’s enthusiasm shows in all the details he remembers. And being detail-oriented, Jake even had a suggestion for his new friend Jordan.
“He asked me to wear a blue dress with dangly earrings, so I'm wearing a blue dress with dangly earrings,” Jordan said with a laugh.
No doubt, it will be a night to remember.