Prom Night a rite of passage for all teens

  • June 25, 2010
Prom NightAJAX, Ont. - There was nothing special about Jenny Lawlor’s prom night. It’s Lawlor who is special.

Lawlor has Down syndrome and is one of about 25 special needs students at Archbishop Denis O’Connor High School in Ajax. Every year a few of the special needs kids attend the prom along with the graduating students.

The special needs students are no less a part of 900-strong student body than any one else, said principal Mary Curran. That’s simple and obvious.

Lawlor was accompanied to the prom by her sister Nicky and Nicky’s date Matt Lionetti. Lionetti didn’t mind having two dates.

“I love it,” he said.

While Lawlor was happy to see her friend Tiffany Angrove from the special needs program, she was equally happy to talk with friends from all over the school, to eat a candlelit dinner and to dance with the swarming mass of graduating students.

Of course Lawlor is different from the majority of O’Connor students, but how different? How different from her sister, who will begin a Lakehead University program in Orillia, Ont., this fall?

The things Lawlor holds in common with her sister and all of us — joy, fears, the capacity for love — count for much more than those differences. Because what she shares with us she shares with the incarnate Christ — God made human. And she can dance.


Jenny's Prom

There was nothing special about Jenny Lawlor's prom night. It's Jenny that's special.

Jenny has Down's syndrome.

The photo slide show below follows Jenny as she makes her way to a special evening with her sister and her friends.

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