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  • Autistic student chosen as homecoming queen

    Jenison students elect ‘awesome and nice’ autistic student as Homecoming Queen

    By Erin Albanese | The Grand Rapids Press
    October 26, 2009, 12:40PM

    GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP — When Rachel Slawkowski was crowned homecoming queen, the roar at Jenison High School’s football stadium sounded more like it was for the winning touchdown.

    Rachel waved her roses like a baseball bat, and clapped for herself. Her parents, Lana and Jerome Slawkowski, wiped tears, joined by many others.
    Rachel Slawkowski
    The Class of 2010 homecoming queen is the girl who says “Hi, how are you?” to everyone in the hallways. She can immediately recognize what note you sing in, and she most certainly will remember your birthday.

    “I won with roses with a crown on top of a head in the newspaper with Michael Zhu at the football game,” Rachel said. “Michael is the king. Rachel Slawkowski, queen.”

    Rachel, who turns 18 on Thursday, is autistic.

    Rachel. The 1,600-member studempseydy listened.

    “I was like, ‘Woweffortd make a really good homecoming queen, she’d be different from everybody else,” Lauren said. “She’s awesome and nice, and she has all the qualities of a good homecoming queen.”

    The girls, who have known Rachel since junior high, said they wanted to dig deeper in choosing a queen. Popular kids had already received recognition in many other ways, but crowning Rachel would have real meaning.

    They said she is a constant source of kindness.

    “Her line of the day is always, ‘Hi, how are you today?’” Courtney said

    “She basically is like walking sunshine,” Ariel said.


    Source: By Erin Albanese | The Grand Rapids Press
    October 26, 2009, 12:40PM

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