High school junior Jake Schwartz has been dating his girlfriend, Paige Drury, since they were in ninth grade, so when it came to deciding whether or not to ask Drury to junior prom this year, the 17-year-old says it was a no-brainer.
Schwartz, who lives in Glastonbury, Connecticut, came up with a sweet way to ask Drury, who is blind, to be his date: On a poster board, he used Hershey's Kisses to spell out "prom" in braille.
"It felt like the cutest thing to do," Schwartz told TODAY Parents. "I've seen very cute promposals from upperclassmen at my school, and not to be outdone, I wanted to do something similar. I decided to write a message in braille because I felt it would be more personal."
Earlier this week, on a day when the teens had the day off from classes at Glastonbury High School but were there for play rehearsal, Schwartz surprised Drury with his creation, at first telling her they were going to exchange Valentine's Day gifts since he was out of town on the holiday.
"We met at the school entrance and walked in together, and then went into the lobby of the auditorium to exchange gifts," Schwartz recalled. "After I sprung the surprise on her, we walked back out to applause from the rest of the cast. It was pretty surreal."
The moment was captured on video by Schwartz's sister. In the video, Drury feels her way through the letters "P-R-O-M" and then, realizing what her boyfriend is asking, squeals with excitement as the pair hugs.
Drury says she was completely surprised by the gesture.
"I thought the promposal was really awesome," said Drury. "Since it's only February, I really wasn't expecting it to happen at all, which made it even better. It makes me feel so happy that someone cares about me enough to make the moment as special as possible."
Schwartz's mother, Erika Schwartz, says her son, who first met Drury in sixth grade when the pair acted in a school play together, has always been caring and empathetic when it comes to his relationship with the 16-year-old.
"He cares about the little things and wants to make sure she's OK and vice versa," said Erika Schwartz. "For the promposal, Jake had the idea to use braille a while ago and I was thrilled that he came up with that. He reached out to Paige's mom, Heather, for help with the lettering and he made a chart on some poster board we already had at home. My assistance was one with the glue gun — the rest was all him."
Heather Drury says when she picked her daughter up from play rehearsal after the promposal, she was grinning from ear to ear.
"It is an amazing feeling to see your child really, genuinely happy and that is exactly what I got to see when I picked Paige up that day," she said. "Jake is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful kids I have ever met. I love how Jake treats Paige and how she treats him. They bring out the best in each other, they protect each other and they are each other's biggest cheerleader."