People with Intellectual Disabilities Pose for Photo with UNC Best Buddies Chapter During Joy Prom Supported by Pepsi
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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

UNC Joy Prom

People with Intellectual Disabilities Pose for Photo with UNC Best Buddies Chapter During Joy Prom Supported by Pepsi

Imagine a night where people with intellectual disabilities get their big chance to go to prom and dance until the music stops. UNC Chapel Hill students have a tradition of bringing that dream to life through their annual Joy Prom.

Thanks to UNC’s Best Buddies chapter and donors like Pepsi, the fifth-annual UNC Joy Prom is bringing another unforgettable evening to Chapel Hill on March 21, 2019. The event will feature a red carpet, DJ music, donated food, and AVEDA hair and makeup specialists.

The chapter cultivates about 100 “friendship pairs” of UNC students and people with intellectual disabilities. While students host the prom for their buddies, they also open the doors to other community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as to volunteers.

“The most special part of the event for me is the red carpet,” Caitlin Schwagerl, 2017 president of UNC’s chapter of Best Buddies, told The Daily Tar Heel following the third-annual event. “So each individual guest gets their name announced and gets to have their own moment on the red carpet and walk down with their buddies, with their hosts for the night.”

According to one 2019 organizer, the event, which could see up to 700 attendees and volunteers this year, is often the guests’ very first chance to attend a prom or a school dance. It’s their big opportunity to dress to the nines and celebrate a night that was created just for them.

Interested in helping adults with disabilities to feel fully accepted and loved? Register to volunteer during Joy Prom or register a guest. Explore more events and volunteer opportunities through Best Buddies North Carolina here.

All photos Courtesy of UNC Best Buddies

The most special part of the event for me is the red carpet.
— Caitlin Schwagerl 2017 president of UNC’s chapter of Best Buddies

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