A special-needs high school student on Long Island is about to see her dream come true – an all-expense-paid trip to Universal Studios and a tour of the park – a visit that was funded by bake sales and help from students at an area high school.
"There's just no way to describe the amount of love and emotion you feel when you give another child an opportunity they might not have had otherwise," says Alexandra Engleson, who started Adopt a Dream, which helps raise money to make dreams come true.
At Great Neck North High School on Long Island, Adopt a Dream found a student who deserved to see her dream come true. Tykim Loney was discovered at a talent show for special needs students.
Students staged bake sales and donation drives.
"I'm just filling up with tears thinking about her separating from me," says Theodora Loney, Tykim's mother.
Theodora adopted Tykim when she was a baby. Tykim was born addicted to cocaine and abandoned by her biological mother, and has grown up with physical and developmental disabilities. Traveling outside of New York has never been an option.
"I would not be able to do it -- financially or otherwise," says Theodora Loney
Ten months of bake sales has helped adopt a dream turn a buck here and there plus loose change into more than $2,000. One student donated $75 in quarters.
"It's simple for me but it means a whole lot for her -- it's pretty cool," says Gabriela Joseeachbili, a student at GNN high school.
It's the second year for Adopt a Dream. Last year, they sent a little girl with spina bifida to Disney World.
"The fact that they thought outside of their own community, their own town, their own state and looked to help as many kids across the country as they could," says Scott Honig, a teacher at GNN high school. "It's inspiring."