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All for prom and prom for all

In February, four Johns Creek High School students held the second annual “Ignite the Light” dance for special needs kids.  MJ Tredway, Lucy Clarke, Liz Cheung, and Megan Cosgrove, in partnership with the Johns Creek High School PALS Program (Practical Application Life Skills) along with about 50 volunteers and children with special needs danced the night away with a roaring twenties theme. PALS is designed to serve students who have documented significant cognitive or physical disabilities which prevent them from making meaningful progress in a general education curriculum and who require instruction in daily living skills. 

Two years ago, these high school girls were together one morning before school and tossed around the idea of hosting a special needs homecoming, laughed and agreed that was a crazy idea- too hard to do. But they believed in the project and ultimately decided to open it up to other local high schools and middle schools to help provide encouragement and a fun place to go for a night out.


The girls worked together to fund the event with the sale of t-shirts and with their own money. The Falls of Autry Mill HOA donated the neighborhood clubhouse for the dance and the lead singer of The Moxie Band donated his time with Gigi’s Cupcakes at the Forum donating festive cupcakes.

This year’s event was a Roaring Twenties theme. Dancing is a form of expression, and many of the kids were able to open up and find tremendous joy by gathering in a small enough group where they felt “safe.”  Each guest was assigned student volunteers as “escorts” to make sure they had someone to dance with, eat a snack with and just share a laugh or two. 

“There are no words that can capture the joy of watching the first kid walk in and seeing the smiles. The Ignite the Light dances will hold a special place in my heart and I am thankful to have worked with friends to make an amazing night possible.”

MJ Tredway

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