If elections for homecoming queens are popularity contests, then Gull Lake High School students say it makes perfect sense that Alex Milan took this year’s crown in a landslide vote.
“Everybody knows her and she’s so charismatic,” said Khelsea Younker, a Gull Lake senior and one of the Alex’s close friends. “She’s always trying to cheer people up.”
But Alex doesn’t fit the typical profile of a popular high school girl: The 18-year-old senior has Down Syndrome and spends part of her school day in a special-education classroom.
Yet since sixth grade, when Alex transferred to Gull Lake Community Schools from Delton Kellogg, her classmates have surrounded her with support and affection.
“Sixth grade is a tough time for kids, especially those with special needs,” said Jodie Milan, Alex’s mother. “But these kids have really stepped up to the plate.”
But students say their votes for Alex weren’t out of pity.
“There wasn’t a single objection made when Khelsea and Hadlee (Hoeksema) proposed the idea to all of us,” senior Brian Wiegand posted in a Gull Lake High School blog. “Who could possibly deserve Queen more than this unbelievably loving, enthuasiastic and spirited young girl.
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