Prom Night or Fairy Tale?
Meet Dream Kid Aubrey, an 18-year-old with a spirited personality who loves to dance and be goofy! Aubrey is a dedicated and determined student approaching senior graduation at North Gaston High School. Excelling in mainstream classes hasn’t been easy on Aubrey or her parents and it has been just one of the many challenges she has faced in her young life. She lives with autism as well as a rare disorder called “vein of Galen Malformation,” a tic/seizure disorder, an auditory processing delay and speech apraxia. Living with these challenges, Aubrey will always have to work harder than most. One week before prom Aubrey received a letter from Winthrop University confirming her acceptance as a student in the Fall. So, in spite of it all, this sweet, fun-loving, hard-working young woman continues to triumph!
Aubrey was introduced to us by The Arc of NC who also shared that she had been featured as a “Molly’s Kid” by friend and supporter, Molly Grantham, WBTV. We learned that, outside of school, Aubrey enjoys volunteering at church, hanging out with friends, watching sports (especially football) and cooking “good Southern food.” Aubrey’s life is pretty full, in fact, she only seemed to be missing one thing…a date to her senior prom. Aubrey’s silly and loveable personality drew her to like-minded Steve Smith, Baltimore Raven, five-time Pro Bowl and three-time All-Pro wide receiver. And in an instant Aubrey’s prom dream became a reality. Steve Smith, swept Aubrey off her feet with a video “promposal” that would give any girl butterflies! Aubrey communicates mostly with a device which she used to respond to Smith’s promposal in her own video. From there things just continued to get better…
Although most of us like surprises, it’s a big help to Aubrey when she is able to know and process events and activities in advance. So when Smith suggested a “get to know you meeting” a few days before prom we were more than happy to accommodate and hopefully alleviate some pre-prom jitters. The two talked about Aubrey interests and Smith shared some stories about his own family. As if his extra time that day wasn’t enough Smith surprised Aubrey with some bling for her big night (courtesy of Diamonds Direct, Southpark).
The big night finally arrived and Aubrey had all she needed to get ready for her Dream date, including professional hair, make-up, and nails donated by the talented Courtney Garrett, a stylist with CC & Co. Salon and Spa. She and cousin, Lyndsey, stepped outside where their ride to dinner awaited; a classic 1963 convertible Chevy Impala from A & M Auto. They made their way to Oilio’s restaurant where Aubrey would join her date, Steve Smith. Smith showed up, corsage in hand, ready to show Aubrey an evening that she will always remember!
Smith, a perfect gentleman, made Aubrey feel exactly the way she should, special. They Whipped, they Nae-Nae’d, they even did the Stanky Leg and just when Aubrey thought the evening was coming to an end she heard her name through the speaker. Aubrey’s classmates announced her Prom Queen! See, we told you, it’s the stuff fairy tales are made of.
This Dream Experience was made possible by community supporters and sponsors. A special thank you to Steve Smith, for generously giving his time and heart and to Molly Grantham, a “practical dreamer” and kind-hearted advocate for those working to beat the odds despite medical challenges.
Photos courtesy of Grant Maginnis Photography
Her Dream: Aubrey’s dream is to have Steve Smith escort her to her high school prom! Check out the local Charlotte athlete who just asked her if he could take her to the prom!
Referral Partner: Aubrey was referred to us by The Arc of NC.
Molly’s Kids: You may have met Dream Kid Aubrey before! WBTV’s Molly Grantham shared her story after one of her teachers wrote to Molly about Aubrey and how she made an impact in her life. Check it out! #MollysKids
Here’s how you can help!
Share Aubrey’s Story!
Help us raise awareness for those living with Autism.
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Food, plane tickets, gas, hotel rooms, and much more! Our Dream Experiences go far beyond the big Dream come true moment. Every dollar makes a difference! Help us make this experience extra special for Aubrey and her family. Take it to the next level and ask your friends and family to donate too!