Students Dream Big for Brown County High Schoolers

CAITLIN MCCAULEY | FEATURES CORRESPONDENT

This April, St. Norbert College will  host a very special event. The I Dream Dance is a project created by Riley Vanden Plas ’19 and Brittany Rupp ’18 to provide local Brown County high school students with intellectual disabilities with a fancy prom-like dance. High school students in the area with intellectual disabilities have been invited to attend this dance on April. 12, 2016 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. As the invitation states, the dance will include a DJ, a dress-up photo booth, interactive dancing, crafts and karaoke.

The dance has been specifically designed for students with intellectual disabilities, a project Vanden Plas  has been working on for quite some time.

“Even before coming to St. Norbert I had had an idea to try and create some type of event and/or fun activity for students with intellectual disabilities,” said Vanden Plas.

After almost a month of brainstorming a fun event, like a game night or dance, the SNC Student Government External Affairs committee settled on the idea of a formal prom-like dance for local high school students with intellectual disabilities. Now, three months later, Rupp and Vanden Plas are seeing their plans being set into motion. Invitations have been sent to numerous high schools in Brown County, welcoming students to Michels Ballroom for an afternoon filled with snacks, fun and games.

The I Dream Dance will provide students with a fun way to interact with other high school students in the area in a fun and safe environment. Another perk of the dance? All attendees will receive a corsage or boutonniere at the door where they can come and dance the day away.

When asked what he’s looking forward to most, Vanden Plas said he couldn’t wait to see the final product: “I am definitely most excited to see the event in full swing, having a great time with awesome people for an awesome afternoon.”

Besides tearing up the dance floor and singing karaoke, Vanden Plas  will join the guests and Rupp in an elegant afternoon that will be the first of many annual I Dream Dances to come.

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