Autauga Co. special needs students raising money for prom - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Autauga Co. special needs students raising money for prom


The cost of going to prom, finding the perfect dress or tuxedo, renting a limo, and pre-dance festivities, has risen to a nationwide average of over $1,100 dollars.  To help offset that cost for 11 students with disabilities in Autauga County, local business are pitching in to help.

"I think a lot of them didn't even realize what the prom was, or they've seen it on TV and didn't think oh that's real life," says the students' teacher, Bethany McKee, Vocational Training Teacher at the Autauga County Technology Center.

The prom is very real for local seniors like Dshawn Jackson.  "For me, prom is the best thing ever," says the 19-year-old with a grin on his face.

Like his Autagua County Vocational Training classmates, he isn't going to let the fact that he has a disability stop him from making memories.

"I'm going with Miss...we're going to have fun, we're going to hit the dance floor," says Jackson.

Jackson and his classmates took part in a fundraiser at Fox's Pizza Den in Prattville.  They bussed tables, refilled drink orders and ran food orders so, like their teacher Bethany McKee says, they can just be normal.

"I think that's important for them to have in their childhood," says McKee.

Students are learning real life skills and tips to help fund their night to remember.

"Our children take for granted going to prom, you know mom and dad can go out and buy them a dress, rent them a tuxedo or limousine, these kids didn't have that opportunity, you know these kids are doing everything they can to find their way in the world," says Fox's Pizza Den Director of Operations, Patrick Harrington.

The students are learning their way in the world with big dreams and a mindset that will take them far beyond high-school.

"Helping me is to do math and count money and hopefully I have a chance to go to college," says Jackson.

The students have raised over $400 dollars and Fox's Pizza Den expects to add another $120 to that.  To help fund the Vocational Training Class' trip to prom, visit Bethany McKee's blog for more information

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