Tiger Times

Time to shine

Community holds prom to celebrate special needs students

Story by Victoria Van, entertainment editor

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The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsored The Night to Shine prom at the Arkansas Convention Center on Feb. 9 from 6-9 pm. This worldwide movement for special needs kids celebrates their individuality and gives each child a chance to express themselves with like-minded people.

This was Texarkana’s first year to hold the event, as special needs teacher Samantha Autrey found out through her church. Autrey asked the principals if she could coordinate the event on campus to ensure every student had an opportunity to attend.

“The goal is to give each student a chance. They’re very timid and reserved, but this prom can make them feel special,” Autrey said. “I wanted to help out in any way I could.”

Students from the 504 enrichment that provide companionship to the special needs students were also involved in getting the students ready for their big night. Giving each girl a glamorous makeover and providing the boys with the best suits and ties brought together a community to acknowledge how important it is to make each person feel outstanding.

“I’ve been with them every A-Day since returning from Christmas Break and my motivation was just to see the girls smile,” junior Kayla Walthall said. “The girls were especially excited about the prom because they could not stop talking about dancing, wearing nail polish, makeup and dresses.”

At the prom, the red carpet was rolled out, fireworks sounded off and each person danced the night away to enjoy themselves to their maximum potential. This night will ensure lasting memories and each individual will have something to take away as they reflect on the experience.

“There were games and so many other activities to do. I went to go to the prom mainly because I’ve never went to one, and I wanted to see what it’s like,” sophomore Sophia Conkleton said. “Being treated like a princess while people were helping me get ready and dancing my heart out at the prom was amazing.”

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About the Contributors
Victoria Van, editor in chief

Victoria is one half of the “Dream Team” as online editor in chief of the Tiger Times newspaper with Joseph Rodgers. She’s juggling the responsibilities of Art Club president, HOSA and NAHS vice president and her numerous AP classes. Whenever she’s not staying after school, she can typically be found painting whatever she creatively desires while listening to music off her record player. She lives the double life as a creative artist and nerd. Victoria survives off spicy chicken Ramen noodles and meticulously organizing her vast collection of colorful pens and Post-it notes.

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Holland Rainwater, photographer

Holland Rainwater (also known as flower child or sunshine hippie) is a senior at Texas High School. She loves fashion, sunrises and burritos. She just so happens to be a second-year staff photographer, first-year staff writer, online photo editor, member of the social media staff, and proud member of Quill and Scroll. Although these responsibilities are cause for 90 percent of the stress in her life, she wouldn’t imagine spending senior year any other way.

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