Since Swansboro High School’s Homecoming, things have been a little over-the-top for the Rogers household.
According to Jenny Rogers of Swansboro, she is not just Jordan’s mom anymore.
“I’m his agent, publicist and spokesperson,” she said.
Jordan, a special needs student at the high school, escorted Homecoming Queen Brittney McGee.
“Never in a million years did I expect that Jordan and I would make it onto world news,” explained McGee.
But they have. Since that night, McGee and Rogers have really made the news. They have been featured from the Jacksonville Daily News all the way to a segment on national news with Diane Sawyer.
It all started when McGee was nominated for the homecoming court.
McGee’s boyfriend, Cameron Lucas, a Swansboro High School graduate and a soldier at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne, could not escort her.
“My mom and I were talking about who I should ask to be my escort,” explained McGee. “She suggested that I ask someone who might not be as fortunate as me, and that would make homecoming a special night for someone else, as well. As soon as she said that, Jordan was the first person that popped into my head.”
McGee asked Jordan and his mother if he would escort her. Jordan’s mom was thrilled that her special needs son would be part of the homecoming court.
When news got out at the school that McGee had asked Jordan to escort her, many in the school rallied behind them.
Jordan is autistic and has Cerebral Palsy. He does not speak, but according to his mom, he understands everything that is said to him.
“Jordan was so excited, he hardly slept the week of homecoming,” said his mom.
When the announcement was made at halftime that McGee was named Homecoming Queen, Jordan could hardly contain his excitement.
Since then he has enjoyed his “celebrity” status.
“Jordan is a lot happier because more people will come up and talk to him,” Rogers explained. “Most of the students probably wouldn’t have come up to talk to Jordan before homecoming. He is enjoying being so popular. I’ve never seen him so happy.”
In addition to students, the staff has been supportive, according to Rogers.
“The whole staff has been great – his teacher, Miss Ingram, and the four other teachers that work with her are angels that have come down from heaven,” she said. “But I’m really amazed at how the students have embraced this. Parents are telling me how their children are talking about it. Every day I continue to hear wonderful stories on how a school stood behind Brittney and supported Jordan”
Jordan has surely enjoyed the attention, but his mom has been humbled by it all.
“It changed me,” she said. “I realized that there is good in this world and it only takes one person to change a school, a community and the lives of special needs students. This has made so many communities more aware of the special needs students in school.”
Jenny has found that many people have opened up to her about Jordan.
“I’ve had so many people contact me about Jordan,” she said. “People just want to talk about him and about autism. I’ve even been asked to speak to other schools, which is not out of the question. I’m getting letters from all over.”
She said the outpouring of support has been touching.
“I grew up here; I’ve never seen this kindness from others like this before,” Rogers explained. “Jordan’s church has been behind him 100 percent and Mrs. (Chris) André (SHS principal) has been so supportive, and of course, the school staff. It has been overwhelming.”
After graduation, McGee plans on attending college to study radiology.
This may be just the beginning for the Rogers family. Someone from New York has contacted them about a possible book deal.
“If it turns into a movie, I want Patricia Arquette to play me,” Rogers joked.
Regardless of the outcome, there will be wonderful memories to last a lifetime, all because of McGee’s decision to reach out to a special needs student.