When New York high school student Sarah Kardonsky was thinking of a clever way to ask good friend Michael Pagano to the prom, she decided she needed a team to help her: namely, the New York Jets.
Kardonsky reached out to several Jets players on Instagram to help her ask Pagano, who has autism and is a big Jets fan, to the big dance at Division Avenue High School in Levittown. Several players, such as cornerback Dexter McDougle, running back Bilal Powell, and Pagano's favorite player, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, all recorded messages encouraging Pagano to go to the prom with Kardonsky.
Kardonsky edited the clips together and showed Pagano the video in school as the classroom erupted in cheers when he happily accepted. Kardonsky had already been asked to the prom when Pagano initially asked her, but decided to do something special for him with the support of her date.
"What I did was only with good intentions for MIKE and right from my heart,'' she wrote on Facebook. "None of this has ANYTHING to do with me. Mike has high-functioning autism, and that does not mean that what I did for him was because I in any way pitied him. Mike is a well-known student at Division Avenue High School, and loved by every single person who is lucky enough to get to know him. Not only did I NOT want Mike to go to prom alone, but I also WANTED to go with him."
Pagano was sporting a jersey of Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who returned to the team after playing for the New England Patriots last season, when Kardonsky surprised him with the proposal.
"Mike also has one of the warmest hearts a human being could possibly bear, which draws people to him,'' Kardonsky wrote. "I went great lengths for no other reason but to make Mike happy and provide him with a memory he will never forget. I would do this for anybody worthwhile if presented the opportunity. Nothing is more important to me than making someone else happy, and of course…making sure they PAY IT FORWARD!"