Teen With Special Needs Invites Ellen DeGeneres To Prom
Esteban Barriga thought he had no friends, but that all changed when he decided to ask talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres to the prom.
The 17-year-old high school senior has autism and initially wasn’t interested in the quintessential high school dance, telling his mom that he didn’t want to go because he had no friends.
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But when word spread around Maynard, Mass. that Barriga wanted to ask DeGeneres, everyone from local businesses to the fire and police departments to the teen’s classmates and teachers got in on the effort. They’ve come together to create a video asking DeGeneres to “say yes to Esteban.”
“It’s been an unbelievable experience because here’s this kid who thought he had no friends at high school, who thought he was on his own — now he’s suddenly the most popular kid in school,” Barriga’s mom, Maribel Rueda, told The Boston Globe.
There’s no word yet from DeGeneres on whether she’ll make it to the Maynard High School prom, but Rueda said the experience has been a win for her son no matter what.
“Whether Ellen says yes or no I think my son will not have a problem going to prom,” Rueda told the newspaper. “He’s learning he’s not alone.”