He did the 'sweetest thing ever' for prom and the internet is loving it.

It's prom season ... and you know what that means.

Teens across America are getting dressed up, making reservations at their most luxurious local Applebee's,  then dancing the night away in a school gymnasium where the basketball hoop has been artfully decorated to fit the theme. (Quick question: Why is the theme sometimes Titanic? Do people not know what happened after all the dancing was done on that ship?)

Prom also means agonizing over who you're going to go with. Are you going to ask someone? Will you wait and hope to be asked? Will you go alone? With a group of friends? Who will you take photos with? And will they end up in the yearbook?


You remember what that was like, right? It was a big deal.

So one high school senior became a big deal — all because he brought his mom to prom.

Meet Joe Moreno (aka Joe Angel), a senior in Corpus Christi, Texas. Back when he was in middle school, he asked his mom, Vanessa, to prom. Now, that may sound a little strange, but Moreno had a very good reason. Well, two.

First, moms are awesome. Second, Joe's mom missed her own prom. Vanessa had to leave high school when she became pregnant at 17. So all the things she thought she'd get to do, she told KRIS-TV, had to be put aside so she could raise Joe, and eventually, his siblings.

"It was a sacrifice that I had made. My sacrifice was to give my children my all. I put everything into him. I push them to become everything they can," she said.

Joe thanked his mother, who he refers to as "the most important woman in his life." He told the school his story, asked for permission to bring his mom, and then picked her up with a corsage in hand.

The mother-son duo topped it all off by taking official prom photos, which Joe posted on Twitter.

Joe's story has the internet in happy tears.

In a world where things are often frightening and confusing, this story provides the level of wholesomeness that we all so desperately need. Moreno's prom pics went viral, and Twitter couldn't handle their emotions, with scores of people telling Joe how much he'd inspired them.

One person also made an important discovery:

Hey, it's a good dress, okay? It's a good dress!

This story's an important reminder to show the people closest to you how much you love them.

No, you don't have to take your mom to prom — although this could definitely become a trend — but it's never wrong to show love and gratitude to the people who make your life better (in fact, research shows that it will make you happier).

Joe's gift of prom has certainly brought he and his mom closer together. Missing it the first time around was something Vanessa felt she "had to sacrifice so that I could work and give to my child without anyone else helping me." Years later, it turns her her son feels just as strongly about doing right by her.

"My mom's the most important person to me. I really love her and everything she's done for me," he said. Now everyone else does, too.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less