Girl Scout Plans Prom for Special Needs Students in Columbia County

Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Helling took it upon herself to plan a prom for special needs students in Columbia County.
Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Helling took it upon herself to plan a prom for special needs students in Columbia County.

Evans, Ga. (WJBF)- Special needs students in Columbia County put on their dancing shoes Saturday for the quintessential high school experience: Prom.

They have Rebecca Helling to thank.

Helling,17, organized every detail of the night as a part of her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor a troop member can achieve.

To earn the award, which is the Girl Scout equivalent of becoming an Eagle Scout, she must complete a project that has a lasting positive effect on the community.

“I wanted to do something that I knew would have a wide range and I knew that there was a large special needs community in our area, and then I also like events planning so it’s kind of a perfect combination of everything,” she said.

She also said she’s received tremendous support from the community.

“Everything’s donated from hair and makeup to dresses to corsages to goody bags.”

The kids had a great time dressing up, taking pictures, and hitting the dance floor. For the girls, getting ready was a big part of the experience.

“I know a lot of the girls had a great experience getting the dresses- I was there for most of them,” Helling said. “It almost brought me to tears how excited they were and all the parents are very very grateful.”

But most importantly, they came to let loose and enjoy themselves.

“I came in to rock it out,” said Jon Lambert.

Teachers say that it’s a welcome sight to see the barriers come down.

“Just seeing my students just be free and act however they want to be. We’ve got a lot of personalities and they can just be themselves and act silly,” said Evans High School teacher Tommy Holtzner. “Just like any other high school student.”

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