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Community support shines as teen with Down syndrome receives homecoming invitation

After several rejections, a classmate's heartwarming invitation transforms teen's homecoming.

Community support shines as teen with Down syndrome receives homecoming invitation
Cover Image Source: YouTube | FOX5 Las Vegas

Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 16, 2021. It has since been updated.

Daniel Rivas, a 17-year-old from Arizona, was heartbroken when all the girls he asked to the school dance turned him down. Despite the setback, Daniel, who lives with Down syndrome, held on to hope that he might attend the dance. As reported by Fox 5 KVVU-TV, that hope was realized when a classmate, 10th grader Kylie Fronius, who had heard of Daniel’s situation, asked him to be her date one day at school.

On the night of the big dance, Daniel’s mother, Tonya Rivas, was thrilled to see 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 as she choked back tears. “Words can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now.”

“It’s not that Daniel has a disability,” Tonya continued, “It’s Kylie didn’t see any disability. That is what your heart wants as a mom.”



Kylie's proposal found its way to social media, where it was widely applauded, before making its way onto 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. “I hope I can make his night fun.”

Kylie had no idea that she and Daniel were about to be surprised with an unforgettable night. Upon hearing their story, Fox 5’s Surprise Squad, which rewards people for doing good in the community, surprised the young couple with a Rolls-Royce as their ride for the big night.

The impressive ride wasn’t the only surprise that evening. The Surprise Squad also hosted a fancy dinner for them at Bistro 57 in the Aliante Casino. After dinner, when Daniel and Kylie finally arrived at the dance, they found the Surprise Squad had rolled out a red carpet to receive them.

The evening was deeply emotional for Daniel and Kylie, filled with tears of joy and gratitude. At one point, Daniel said, "Very cool, Mama is so proud of me."

The Surprise Squad’s work didn’t end when the dance did. The Squad’s final surprise was a trip to Disneyland for Kylie, Daniel, and their families.


The heartwarming news made the rounds on the internet, and United Nissan in Las Vegas gave Daniel a $10,000 scholarship so he could fulfill his dream of going to college and becoming a chef. United Nissan 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. 



This story is a beautiful reminder of how simple acts of kindness can profoundly impact lives. 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. The community praised the parents for nurturing such compassionate children. "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."

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