Sabrina Loughman was planning on going to prom without a date. The River Vale, New Jersey, teen didn’t want to miss out on the experience, but she would be remiss to say she preferred to go alone.
Sabrina, who has Down syndrome, had made peace with the prospect of not having a date. But that’s when her sister’s phone call changed everything.
Sabrina’s sister Samantha was talking to one of her friends on the phone.
Samantha was talking on the phone to Victoria, a friend she’d had for a number of years, when Victoria suggested her brother take Sabrina to the prom.
Her brother Stephen is 16 years old and a promising athlete at his high school. When his sister pitched the idea to him, he agreed without hesitation.
“He said, ‘no problem,'” Stephen’s mother, Kara Kurisco said to NorthJersey.com. “I said a couple weeks later, ‘I gotta go get you a tux.'”
Sabrina’s mother, Cathy Hunt, was thrilled that her daughter would be going with a date.
Sabrina is a great kid,” Hunt said to NorthJersey.com. “I just think it’s a pretty amazing thing for her self esteem for her to be able to walk in with this boy.”
The prom was on June 20, and Stephen took Sabrina as promised.
When the day finally arrived, Stephen was standing tall in his tuxedo, and Sabrina wore a lilac dress complete with a corsage. The two posed for photos taken by their fawning families.
“He was a little nervous at first. But they had a nice time,” Kurisco said to lohud. “He had fun and she had a nice time.”
Stephen’s family drove the teens to the dance, where Sabrina had a chance to enjoy the prom the way she’d hoped. Stephen’s willingness and warmth helped make the evening a success.
Ultimately, that’s the lesson Hunt hopes everyone who hears Sabrina’s story walks away with. She wanted people to hear about Stephen’s warmheartedness.
Hunt hopes people will hear Sabrina’s story and be overcome with kindness and empathy.
“That’s what I tell my kids. ‘Money and everything is wonderful but I just want you to be good people,'” Hunt said. “People don’t put enough emphasis on kindness and empathy. That is exactly why I wanted Stephen to be recognized.”
While Stephen taking Sabrina to the prom was a surprise in many ways, Hunt joked that she’d always known they would go together.
“I had always joked with Kara when they were little that Stephen’s gonna take Sabrina to the prom,” Hunt said. “This was like 10 years ago.”