Daniel Rivas was rejected by the girls he had asked to the school dance, so his classmate Kylie Fronius decided to surprise him.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 16, 2021. It has since been updated.
Daniel Rivas, a 17-year-old boy from Arizona, was heartbroken when all the girls he asked to the school dance turned him down. The teenager with Down syndrome was eagerly looking forward to the homecoming dance but the window closed on his dream, his date showed up. Kylie Fronius, a 10th grader, who had heard Daniel was turned down by those he asked, decided to surprise her classmate, reported KVVU-TV. She asked Daniel to be her date one day at school. Daniel's mom was stunned when she saw Kylie standing in her driveway, waiting to accompany her son to the homecoming dance. “Someone took the time to take my son to homecoming,” said Tonya Rivas, Daniel’s mother, as she choked back tears. “Words can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now,” she added.
“It’s not that Daniel has a disability. It’s Kylie didn’t see any disability. That is what your heart wants as a mom,” said Tonya. Kylie's proposal found its way to social media where it went viral. The sweet proposal made the local news. "I don't see disabled people as different. They are just normal people who learn in a different way,” Kylie told Fox 5 KVVU-TV. “I hope I can make his night fun.” She had no idea that they were about to be surprised with an unforgettable night. Fox 5’s Surprise Squad, which rewards people for doing good in the community, was about to surprise them. They went the distance and had a Rolls Royce pick them up for their date. They were shocked to see the luxury car waiting for them.
The squad then hosted a fancy dinner for them at Bistro 57 in the Aliante Casino before heading to the homecoming dance. The squad actually rolled out a red carpet to receive the pair as they reached the school. The teenagers were overcome with emotion as the squad kept handing out the surprises. The night included a lot of emotional crying and tears for Daniel and Kylie. At one point, Daniel said, "Very cool, Mama is so proud of me." The Surprise Squad revealed that the surprises didn't end just yet and announced that they were going to send Kylie, Daniel, and their families to Disneyland.
The heartwarming news went viral and United Nissan in Las Vegas gave a $10,000 scholarship to Daniel, so he could fulfill his dream of going to college and becoming a chef. They also surprised Kylie with a car. “All you had to do was watch the [original] news story that aired, and you saw a young lady with a huge heart, and she was inspirational,” said Don Forman, the owner of United Nissan, referring to the motivation for the grand gesture.
It just goes to show that a simple act of kindness that can change the lives of people. Fronius didn't do any of it for the attention or the rewards but just wanted to make a classmate feel valued for the amazing person he is and that goes a long way. Many lauded the parents for raising such kind kids. "Glad to see someone is raising their kids right," wrote one person. Another person commented, "My mom so happy for me" - Daniel, not just your mom is happy for you. The entire world is happy for you."