By LILIAN MOHR, MIA ARANDA, and MIRIAM YORDANOS
An amazing group of Redlands East Valley high school students gathered outside of the high school gymnasium Friday morning on May 3, as photographers captured the 2019 PossAbilities Prom.
The PossAbilities club is a program on the REV campus whose goal is to give special education students access to high school experiences that they deserve.
This year commemorated the second anniversary of the first possibilities prom on the Redlands East Valley campus. It was a daylong affair with lots of pampering, dancing and photos.
The week leading up to the prom was filled with students “prom-posing” to their dates, which helped to bond the general education students with their PossAbilties dates.
Around 8 a.m. on Friday, students left class and met up with their prom dates in the PossAbilities classrooms around campus. Students helped their dates get dressed, do their hair, paint their nails, do their makeup and any other pampering needed in order for them to feel great on their prom day.
Once all students were ready, outdoor photo shoots with friends and parents were taken outside the gymnasium. With the doors opening, the students were able to go inside and appreciate all the work that the PossAbilities club had put into this amazing day.
The theme was masquerade, and the PossAbilities Prom committee did not disappoint. From walls of streamers to beautifully decorated tables, the gymnasium was ready to make this prom the highlight of the students’ year.
After everyone fueled up on the Chick-fil-A catering, it was time to dance. Many of the students spent the majority of the day busting a move on the dance floor.
The PossAbilities club also made sure that the prom was welcoming to all students in which there were many activities catering to everyone’s interest. There was a photo booth and professional prom photos.
Erin Herbert, the teacher and advisor for the PossAbilities club, says she believes that events like the PossAbilities Prom are important to special education students because “when students are in high school, prom is one of their best memories” and “lot of [students in special ed classes] can’t go to regular prom because of sensory needs or accessibility” and the prom “creates a safe space for them to have those experiences.”
Herbert’s favorite moment of the 2019 prom was “the slow dance song when [I] saw a big, giant football player dancing with a tiny, little girl with Downs Syndrome, [her] heart just melted.”
She said that she thinks that in her 15 years of teaching “REV has been the most inclusive,” and she “has taught at a lot of different grade levels and a lot of different schools, but the students [at REV] are way more accepting and willing to go out of their way to include [special education] students.”
Junior Nick Millet went to the prom with freshman Alicia Gullon. Millet said, “My favorite thing about prom was the bringing together of Special Ed and General Ed kids in a way that made us all feel connected.”