Allyssa Brubeck (19) isn’t just your typical popular teen, she also has Down syndrome. While her coronation is reason enough to celebrate, what may be the most touching of all is her classmates’ reactions to all the fuss surrounding their new royalty. They just don’t understand what the big deal is. Who cares that she has Down syndrome? She’s just Allyssa, a happy, friendly cheerleader.
As The Kansas City Star reports, the student newspaper journalists didn’t even think to mention her disability when writing the story of the Homecoming election results. Their adult supervisor had to convince them that it was worth noting. During her four years at Park Hill South High School, Allyssa has become an active member of the student body and a teen who seemingly has a hug and a smile for everyone. When the school district posted the story on its Facebook page, the kids couldn’t believe the amount of attention the story got.
Allyssa’s picture went rocketing across the Internet. The number of “likes” was approaching 1,500 in the first 24 hours of its posting. The number of hits as it was being shared passed 10,000. Nothing on the district’s page had drawn anywhere near that much attention before.
While the teens at Park Hill South High School are taking this all in stride, adults are much more impressed with this year’s queen – and what it says about her fellow students. We can all hope that this is a sign that kids with disabilities are one step closer to being accepted as just another kid.
Read more here: The Kansas City Star