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Teenager With Down Syndrome Didn't Find a Prom Date. What Her Friends Did Will Melt Your Heart

For Annie Schlarmann, a perfect prom night is all about spending quality time with her friends and making lifelong memories.
PUBLISHED MAY 23, 2024
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KWWL 7
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KWWL 7

Living with neurological disorders that affect social skills can be difficult in a world that is often cruel to those who don't fit its perception of what's normal. In reality, some empathy and support is everything that an individual with conditions such as Down syndrome needs to lead a happy life. Prom night is important for every high school student, and apart from celebrating the best years of their lives with friends, it's also an opportunity for teenagers to ask their crush to be their date. High schoolers are excited about being asked out in the run-up to prom night, unfortunately for Annie Schlarmann from Iowa, nobody asked her to be their date.



 

But that doesn't mean that Schlarmann had to spend the special night alone, as she was blessed with thoughtful and loving friends who made sure that she had a great time, and prom night became memorable for her, through their gesture. Schlarmann, who has Down syndrome, attends Monticello High School where she is a junior. She was looking forward to her prom like any other student, as per KWWL, but nobody approached her for a date. When her closest friends found out that Schlarmann was planning to go alone after the disappointment, they decided to step up.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Dio Hasbi Saniskoro
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Dio Hasbi Saniskoro

“We thought it would be so fun to make her night special,” Maria McCarthy, one of Schlarmann's friends, told the outlet. “So, we all got together, and we got to do so much fun stuff, like we got to go out to eat, we went axe throwing, and we got ice cream.” “I don't think there's anyone more deserving of it than Annie,” Kennedy Simon mentioned. “I don't think I've ever met more of a bright, happy human. She's so caring, she's so fun, she's genuine. She's always making jokes.” Another one of their friends Kate Green remarked, "Schlarmann deserved to have this special night more than anyone else and the friends' group is glad to give that to her."

Schlarmann also spoke to the outlet while fighting tears and admitted that celebrating prom with her 11 best friends was much better than going out on a prom date with a single person. “I had a lot of fun last night because my friends are nice to me, and I love them,” Schlarmann said. “They mean a lot to me.” Her older sister who is a teacher, told the outlet that, Schlarmann's friends are a "great example of how wonderful the next generation can be." “I always impress on my students how important learning is at school, but it's not just the academics they're learning, but shaping them into people,” she added. “This was just a beautiful example of what kindness and empathy look like.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Juliano Astc
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Juliano Astc

The high schooler further shared with the outlet that she will "remember her prom for the rest of her life." Sue, Schlarmann's mom, said she will remember it forever as well. "It just was a special thing that they asked her to go because when you have a child with a disability, you're always hoping that they're going to get the same opportunities as your other children,” her mom explained. “So to have them have such a genuine and kind heart and reach out and ask Annie to go to prom is something special.”



 

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