Beau Chene’s Homecoming game last Friday night will likely change many lives.

That’s because 18-year-old Courtni Henry, who has Down Symdrome, was crowned Homecoming Queen.

Courtni’s mother Shelia Gradney says she found out when she was 5 months pregnant that the baby girl she was carrying would have Down syndrome. 

“Before that I knew nothing about the genetic disorder so I had to read and read.”

This past Friday at the game versus Vinton, the dream came true for Courtni who had always aspired to not be just apart of the homecoming court, but also be a queen. 

When asked if she knew she would be queen, Courtni sharply answered, “YES”

The student body at Beau Chene High selected the winner and this is the first time a student with special needs was crowned queen. 

She beat out seven other candidates to win the title.

“When she heard the announcer call her name, she began to cry, her mother said. “We were so happy for her, her dreams really came true.”

Gradney says all the medical information was and is intimidating but says parents should not give up or be ashamed of their babies. 

“I hope her moment helps somebody.  For parents of a child with down syndrome, I encourage you to be your child’s voice because I am Courtni’s voice.” she said.   

“Don’t accept what everybody tells you. Fatih in God will take you through anything.” 

What’s next for Courtni… “She likes to do hair so perhaps to cosmetology school or she loves to cook so maybe culinary school.” 

According to Courtni’s mom and dad: “This is not the end for Courtni,  this is just the beginning.”