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Student With Down Syndrome Named to Rochester Homecoming Court

Emily Jacobs, a senior at Rochester High School, voted by peers as finalist for homecoming queen.

With an infectious smile that can light up a room and a friendly demeanor, it's easy to see why Rochester High School senior Emily Jacobs is so popular with her classmates.

Emily, 17, who has Down syndrome, was voted by her Class of 2014 peers to the homecoming court. The homecoming queen and king will be named at halftime during Friday's football game at Rochester High School.

When she found out about being named to the final ballot in September, Emily said she "was jumping up and down."

Her mother, Cheryl Jacobs, said when she got home from school that day, Emily told her the honor "felt special." 

The weeks that followed, leading to this weekend's homecoming festivities, have been a whirlwind for the Jacobs family.

"It's very exciting," Cheryl Jacobs said. "We knew a lot of people supported Emily, but we didn't realize how many people were behind her, so it's been really exciting."

Local business provides generous gift 


The strong show of support by Emily's peers caught the attention of Flirty Fashions, 2881 S. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills. The store provided Emily's homecoming dress, free of charge, along with alterations courtesy of Lia Biondo. 

"Emily tried on a lot of dresses and some of the teachers were there, some of the paraprofessionals," Cheryl Jacobs said. "That was a lot of fun."

Early Wednesday evening, Emily and Cheryl Jacobs stopped by the store to pick up the dress. 

Emerging from the changing room with her white and teal dress, Emily twirled in front of a giant mirror in the showroom, checking out her new look.

"Are you pleased with everything?" Biondo asked. Emily responded with two enthusiastic thumbs up. 

'Go out there and show them what I got'

Emily is a teen with a wealth of talents who refuses to be held back by her special needs.

In addition to being active in Special Olympics, dance and her school's theatre department, Emily is a huge music fan, citing One Direction, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga as her favorite artists.

In her free time, Emily says she enjoys writing songs, singing and mixing music on the computer and hopes to work in a recording studio someday. After graduation, Emily will enroll in a job skills-building program to prepare her for the workforce. 

In the meantime, however, Emily is focused on dazzling the homecoming crowd at Friday's halftime show and strutting into Saturday's dance alongside her date, Stoney Creek student Michael Davis, with whom she's been friends since early childhood.

"I'm looking forward to go out there and show them what I got," she said. 
Donna October 03, 2013 at 10:44 AM
Emily - you're dress looks beautiful - a perfect choice! Enjoy your exciting weekend and congratulations for being voted on the homecoming court!! Make sure you do a lot of twirling at the dance!
Lori S October 03, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Great story. Congrats Emily! You look so beautiful! You are a winner in our book for sure. Have fun at the dance! Lea will love to see this story!
John McKay (Editor) October 03, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Best of luck this week, Emily! It was great being able to tell your story. Hope you have plenty of fun! :)
thomas.b.edgar October 03, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Kudos to Emily and her peers that voted her in. Rochester is a first class city.
Jason Alexander (Editor) October 04, 2013 at 09:28 AM
What an inspiration! Have a blast Emily!

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