The period right before a high school dance can either be incredibly fulfilling or quite disappointing. Whenever you ask someone out, there’s always a chance they’ll say “no.” Facing rejection is tough, but unfortunately, that’s what Daniel Rivas had to contend with back in 2016.
The then 17-year-old senior at Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas was looking forward to going to the homecoming dance, and psyched himself up to ask his chosen date. But, sadly, perhaps unable to see past his Down syndrome, she turned him down. And she wasn’t the only one. Heartbroken, it looked like Daniel wasn’t going to be able to find a date.
That was until sophomore student Kylie decided to give Daniel a chance to go to the dance.
Fortunately, sophomore student Kylie Fronius heard about Daniel’s dancing desires and decided to flip the script by asking him to the dance.
“I don’t think of kids that have a disability as being different. I think of them as just being a normal person learning in a different way,” she told Fox5 News.
Daniel’s mom was overjoyed at the news.
“Someone took the time to send my son to homecoming,” Daniel’s mother, Tonya Rivas, said. “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling!”
The story soon spread all over the internet and caught the attention of the Fox5 ‘Surprise Squad.’
The Fox5 Surprise Squad showed up just after the pair got their pictures taken before they set off and surprised them with a ride in a Rolls-Royce. They weren’t taking them directly to the dance, though. Their first stop was Bistro 57, a fancy restaurant inside a casino.
The staff was very accommodating, telling them to order whatever they wanted and to treat the place like home.
“I come here a lot, and I walk by and I’m like ‘I can never afford to come in here and eat, let alone take my kids here,'” Tonya said.
Then it was time to head to the dance, but not before Daniel and Kylie got to walk on the red carpet with fellow students cheering for them.
Once they got in, they had a grand old time, with Daniel busting some sweet moves on the dance floor.
Tonya said that Daniel had big plans for the future and that he really wanted to be go to college and study to become a chef. She wanted to do everything in her power to make that happen, however difficult it might be due to the boundaries people put on Daniel.
Near the end of the night, Fox5’s Monica Jackson got up on stage to announce a few final surprises. First, she let Daniel, Kylie, and their families know that they’d be getting trips to Disneyland.
Then Don Forman, owner of United Nissan and sponsor of Surprise Squad, got on stage to give Daniel a $10,000 scholarship.
“This opportunity that he was blessed with is unbelievable!” said Daniel’s mother.
Forman also gave Kylie a brand new car.
She was so excited she could barely put it into words. She was shaking, yet Forman believed her reward was well earned.
“All you had to do is just watch the news story … and you just saw a young lady with a huge heart and she was inspirational!” Forman said.
Kylie and Daniel couldn’t believe all that had just happened; they were in shock by the magnitude of it all.
Throughout the whole thing, though, what was clear was that Kylie didn’t ask Daniel to the dance to get attention or reward, she just wanted to make him happy—and we’re pretty sure she did.
“You happy, buddy?” Kylie can be heard asking Daniel as they ride in the back of the Rolls-Royce.
“Yeah,” Daniel responded.
And to think, it all started with that small act of kindness.