Every spring, high schools celebrate prom night with formal dances and the crowning of student royalty. While Annandale High School in Virginia is no different, its 2015 king offers a somewhat different story — one of acceptance and overcoming life’s obstacles.
You see, although Arvin Duco is on the spectrum and was supposed to attend a separate special education prom, his classmates surprised organizers when they voted him king for the entire school.
When teachers began tallying votes, at first they were surprised that Arvin had enough votes to be one of two finalists for the honor. After they thought about it, the faculty realized how much Arvin has touched people’s lives among the seniors at Annandale High School. Ellen Ordonez, one of the boy’s teachers, notes, “Arvin can walk into a room filled with strangers, and within seconds, he’s their best friend, he knows everything about them.”
Arvin’s specialty lies in numbers. He memorized several locker combinations and opened half the lockers in school one morning as a way to try to help his classmates. The young man can recite the school’s football schedule and game results by heart. He also knows birthdays really well, notes this video segment from MyFoxDC.
All in the Attitude
Arvin faces every day with an upbeat, cheerful attitude. His classmates chose to return the favor by showing acceptance and love to a very special student. Although Arvin may not learn things like other students, he has a gift for bringing joy to everyone he meets, even the journalist who composed this feel-good story about a boy whose giving nature comes from the heart.
Other special needs kids have similar stories that demonstrate what it truly means to affect other people’s lives in a positive way. Double-lung transplant survivor and autistic student Garrett Price was voted prom king of his class in Naples, Florida, in May 2015, notes WBBH. Both of these young students remind everyone that any obstacle can be overcome and that kids with special talents make a difference on everyone around them.