(PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo.) — School dances are one of the ways students can take a break from the classroom while socializing with their classmates, not to mention, a time for parents to snap a gazillion photos to keep for eternity (and ultimately share when their kids are much older to embarrass them in front of their significant others).
For some students though, school dances can seem intimidating or something they would otherwise try to avoid. That’s because the fear of being accepted is something high schoolers, especially, deal with on a day-to-day basis, but the hope of being included by their classmates is always there.
A heartwarming moment that recently took place at Pueblo County High School captured all of this and more and was sent to us by a proud father who couldn’t wait to share the news.
“It almost brings me to tears talking about it every time and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Jason Herrera, father of Senior Mia Gallegos-Herrera.
He said he received a call from his daughter, which started like this: “Dad, you’re going to be so proud of me!” When he asked why, Mia said, “We decided that, this year, since it’s our senior year we wanted to do something different and something special for the special needs kids at our school.”
He said his daughter told him, “We feel like, sometimes, they don’t get to do a lot of the stuff that all the other kids do or sometimes, they don’t get asked to dances.”
But that is exactly what Mia and her friend MaKayla Padilla planned to do.
With posters and all, the girls asked students, Wade Hartle and Vito Marino, to Saturday’s Snowball Dance, and it was all captured on video.
“Right away I noticed my daughter’s emotions, she was overwhelmed with joy, almost to the point where she was already ready to cry before she even asked him,” said Herrera when watching back the video.
“Wade, would you want to come with me to Snowball?” asked Mia in the video.
At first, Wade takes a minute to let the excitement sink in, before he says, “Yeah, let’s go to Snowball!” and walks toward Mia before hugging her.
“Are you going to come with me?” asked MaKayla to Vito, who said, “Yeah!” before turning around and giving his classmate a high five.
As the video continues, Wade is seen jumping around in excitement, at times, covering his mouth to hold back the bursts of happiness.
“He must have gone home and told his parents immediately because my daughter had just got home from school and his parents were already calling my daughter and thanking her,” said Herrera. “They said they were going to buy him a matching tux and that they were going to pay for the dinner and everything.”
A touching moment he just couldn’t wait to share with others.
“That was one of my proudest dad moments and I thought I needed to do something to showcase her, and not only her because she’s my daughter, but her and her friend,” Herrera said to FOX21 after sending the video. “I mean that’s amazing, that’s beautiful.”
While Mia’s mom was out of town at the time, Herrera said when he told his wife about the memorable moment, she encouraged him to share it as well.
“Mom is super proud as well,” said Herrera. “We’re both proud parents and I just couldn’t be happier to have an amazing daughter like that.”
FOX21 reached out to Pueblo County School District 70 to share the good news and they couldn’t wait to share the video.
“We try to foster a very inclusive culture here at Pueblo County High School! We are very proud of these students,” said Brian Dilka, Principal at Pueblo County High School.
Herrera said the students will be going to Chili’s and taking pictures at the library beforehand—moments he and his family will cherish forever.
“So, I mean it was just a beautiful story and a beautiful ending and just everyone involved are such amazing people,” said Herrera, who hopes this story fosters more good deeds.
“Always be kind,” said Herrera. “Everybody has situations that are going on in their life and sometimes you [just] need a smile.”