Written By: Jessica Lemond, Junior
Senior Tobin Braun could not have been more surprised when his friend senior Billie Greer asked him to be her date to prom. Braun lives with Autism. Given this, he hasn’t had many same experiences as his other peers, but his LIFT pal Billie Greer wanted to make sure he wouldn’t miss out on going to prom.
“Tobin and I danced at snow coming. I had so much fun with him that I wanted to take him to prom,” said Greer. “I knew he really wanted to go. He talked about it all the time.”
Greer understands the social struggle Braun’s Autism creates for him on a personal level. As a member of LIFT class, a peer mentorship program that helps Holly’s Autistic students with academics and social skills, Greer also knows that kids with Autism want and deserve the same experiences as their non-Autistic peers.
“Tobin came up to me at snowcoming this year, and he was really sad because no one would dance with him. I thought that was ridiculous, so I grabbed his hand and pulled him out to dance. He’s a really good dancer,” said Greer. So she started making plans to give him the time of his life at prom.
Greer surprised Braun with a poster in the Lift classroom, asking him to prom. “I was really excited and happy,” Braun said. Once they got there, Braun was moving all over the dance floor. “I just left him with the boys, so he could be like everybody else,” said Greer. “Once I got out on the floor, I could tell he’d been busting some moves! His shirt was all out and he looked like he’d been having a really great time.”
“I hung out with everyone,” said Braun. “It was amazing!”
But the highlight of the night came when it was time to announce the winners of prom king and queen. Greer and Braun won the titles almost unanimously. “I was really surprised and really thankful that the school voted me in,” said Greer. “I was actually pretty scared to walk up there because I just couldn’t believe that I’d won.”
Braun, however, kept his cool.
”I had a gut feeling I was going to win, just cuz I’m so dang popular,” Braun said.
Even days after prom night, Braun is still feeling the magic. “I feel super excited and happy,” Braun said.
When asked what he would do if he was actually the king of the school, he said “I feel like I am the king of the school! I feel like I can do anything I want, and no one can tell me what to do anymore.”
Braun plans to finish out his senior year by doing something “crazy” with his kingly power, but he hasn’t quite decided what that will be yet.
If Greer really ruled the school, she would make the building more luxurious for everyone by fixing the bathroom doors so they all lock and creating a lavish relaxation room. “We would have one of those puppy rooms with therapy dogs, and massage chairs… and slip-and-slides!” she mused.
“I would never leave that room,” said Braun. “I would never leave school! I would just spend 24 hours a day in there!”
Who knows, maybe slip and slides might end up as a senior prank.