New York Jets Help Teen Ask Autistic Friend to Prom

new york jets prom

Asking someone to prom is an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. Seventeen year old Sarah Kardonsky recruited the help of the NFL’s New York Jets team players.

Her long time friend Mike Pagano has high functioning autism. Initially, he had asked Sarah to prom but she declined because she already had a date. After some time, Sarah decided she wanted to go with Mike instead. To make up for turning him down, she wanted to do something really special.

The savvy teen reached out to The Jets on social media to see if they would be willing help her out, and they agreed! During the high school’s morning announcements, wide receiver Saalim Hakim, cornerback Dexter McDougle, wide receiver Chris Owusu, and cornerback Antonio Cromartie appeared on the screen one by one. Each player gave a shout out to Mike and asked if he would go to prom with Sarah. His initial reaction was complete shock as he saw his favorite football team speaking directly to him.

As for the answer? Of course he said yes! Mike was so overwhelmed by the thoughtful gesture that all he could do was shake his head and give Sarah a big hug.

On June 4, 2015, Sarah and Mike were invited to the popular daytime talk show “The Ellen Degeneres Show” where millions tuned in to hear their story. Sarah described Mike as the sweetest guy, a truly inspirational person and who doesn’t let things get him down. Although he has high functioning autism, the high school senior isn’t angry with the world and loves himself for exactly who he is.

After hearing their story, Ellen gifted Mike and Sarah with crowns and personalized New York Jets jerseys that said Prom King and Prom Queen to wear to the dance. Moments later, a special video message from the Jets appeared on the big screen. Head coach Todd Bowles gave the teens four pre-game tickets and a box of swag including an official Jets helmet signed by all the players. The two were in such disbelief, they were rendered speechless by this act of generosity.

Original coverage by the New York Daily News

By Raiza Belarmino

This entry was posted in Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Events, Autism Media Coverage, Autism New York, Autism News, Featured and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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