IMPACT

Teens With Down Syndrome Nominated To Homecoming Court For First Time In Central Florida

10/11/2013 03:12 pm 15:12:53 | Updated Oct 14, 2013

When it came time for a Florida high school to nominate a queen and king to homecoming court, many decided to go with a pair whose personalities seem to always brighten up the room.

An overwhelming number of students at West Orange High School decided to go with Bubba Hunter and Semone Adkins, two bubbly and upbeat teens with Down syndrome, News 13 reported. Students and teachers told the news outlet that they appreciate the way the teens bring people together and offer up such positive energy.

“We are not doing this because we feel bad for them or anything like that,” Hayden Griffitts, quarterback of the football team, told News 13. “We are doing this because we genuinely like Bubba and Semone. They [are] high spirited and are nice people.”

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida told the news outlet that this is the first time that teens with Down syndrome have been nominated to homecoming court in the region.

But West Orange High School isn’t the only institution breaking such new ground.

Last fall, Allyssa Brubeck, was the first student with Down syndrome at her Parkville, Mo., high school to be named homecoming queen, Fox 4 News reported.

Allyssa’s mom attributes much of her daughter’s success to the openness of Park Hill South, where she was a cheerleader on the varsity team.

"This school gives the opportunity to have differences and accept you for who you are,” Allyssa’s mom, Cindy Small, told the news outlet. I think Allyssa just fits in and the kids are accepting.”

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