MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two students who ordinarily would not cross paths are sharing an evening to remember.
Even though the students generally travel in different circles, they are going to prom together at Middletown High School South in New Jersey.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, the junior class prom at the school Friday night was the biggest night of Claire DiGiorgio’s life.
“I can dance a lot and eat some food and be with my friends,” she said.
For Claire, 18, it is a dream come true. The lovely, developmentally delayed young lady, who was born with a genetic chromosomal disorder, never thought it would happen.
But on Friday night, she was going to prom with Chip Liskowitz, a senior varsity soccer player. It was everything she could have hoped for, she said.
“Very excited,” Claire said.
And the story of how the two met, and their path to the prom, is nothing short of inspiring.”
Claire and Chip met through a program at the school called Circle of Friends. It is a special program that pairs special needs kids with other students in peer groups.
They meet twice a week to talk and socialize.
The goal is to bring student groups together who would rarely interact, so as to get a better understanding of each other.
“They start to see that our students with special needs are actually more like them than they are different,” said school official Nick Trezza.
It led to a friendship between Claire and Chip, who now says he looks after Claire like a little sister – with a mutual respect and admiration.
“I viewed the world so differently before I met Claire, and then after I met her, she just changed me a lot,” Chip said. “I don’t think anyone is ever taught me more or impacted me more as much as Claire.”
Two months ago, Claire asked her friend Chip to the prom with the help of a handwritten message.
“(It read), ‘Chip, you want to go to prom with me? He said yes,” Claire said. “He gave me a big hug.”
She said it made her feel “very happy.”
And on Friday night, two people who thought they couldn’t be more different discovered their mutual delight – their humanity and heart is very much the same.