Escaping the Bonds of a Wheelchair


Aireonna Fox

The PLT and NHS clubs were able to provide individuals with disabilities one night of normalcy.

Rachael Schafer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The last two years, the PLT and NHS clubs have paired together to put on a dance for special needs individuals at the Bear-O Care Foundation. With all of their work combined, this year they were able to put on a dance that brought smiles to faces of many.

Mindy Braga, Senior and member of PLT, said that she put this dance together to give kids an opportunity to live a normal life for just one night. And with her work she was able to pull off this project for those who did not have such an opportunity in high school. This project included dancing, pictures, and just like a real dance, a mosh pit of their own.

The mission statement of Bear-O-Care is to provide, “a community approach to caring for individuals with multiple disabilities by building on and supporting the existing strength of families and caregivers.” Bear-O Care has been able to provide a safe place for many individuals and their families, and in speaking with some of the parents, they said that they had so much gratitude for the students who made this dance a reality for them and their children.

The dance was held at the Bear-O Care Day Center, a family business started by Braga’s family. She said that since her brother has severe disabilities, and suffers from CHARGE syndrome, she has been worried about him for her entire life. She explained that when individuals with disabilities turn 22, the school system kicks them out. From her concern sprung this program. Bear-O Care accepts individuals who have severe disabilities. Some of the requirements for getting into this program are that they must have a G-tube, a trach, and be wheelchair bound. The requirements are such because as Braga explained, “There are very few places that take kids so severe.” The program has been running for almost three years, with locations in Riverton and Bountiful.

The students from NHS and PLT were the feet and music for the special needs individuals, but the kids were the soul of the entire event. Many of them have never had the experience of a high school dance, and for just one night they were able to escape the bounds of their wheelchairs and move to the beat of the music.