Humiliated by her school, this Pennsylvania teen found support from friends and strangers.

Like many 17-year-olds, Aniya Wolf was looking forward to her junior prom.

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, high school student was looking forward to dancing the night away with her best friends and classmates at the May 6, 2016, formal. Aniya, who has always preferred pants to dresses, even purchased a new suit with her mom for the special occasion.


Aniya on the day of her prom. Image via ABC News/YouTube.

But things went south when administrators from her Catholic high school, Bishop McDevitt, heard Aniya was planning to wear a suit to the dance.

The school informed Aniya and her mother that if she chose to wear the suit, she would be asked to leave. The conversations and messages, which took place just hours before prom, mentioned that the dress code was clearly stated in a previous note to parents. However, Aniya's mother, Carolyn Wolf, said the dress code never explicitly stated girls had to wear dresses.

Aniya reading over the e-mail and dress code from her school. Image via ABC News/YouTube.

Carolyn even sat down with the principal that afternoon, just to see if anything else could be done. And short of making her daughter wear a dress, there wasn't.

"I can't put a dress on her any more than I could put a dress on any of my sons," Carolyn told Today. "That's not who she is."

With the dance rapidly approaching, Aniya decided to go for it and attend prom anyway. She barely made it past the ticket line before she was asked to leave by school officials who went as far as threatening to call the police.

The experience was painful and embarrassing for the teen.

"I felt humiliated, getting kicked out of prom," she told Today. "I wasn't going to hurt anybody with a suit."

Aniya, who identifies as a lesbian, feels her school is singling her out because of her sexual orientation.

"It's saying, 'We don't want you in our prom. You're a freak of nature,'" she told Today.

Aniya after being asked to leave the dance. Image via ABC27 News.

It would be easy for Aniya to feel defeated, but people across the country have rallied behind her to show their support.

Women around the country donned suits and tuxedos and shared their photos using the hashtag #suitsforaniya.

Employees at Aniya's local chapter of the YWCA were some of the first to participate.

Double bassist Lauren Pierce showed off her dashing tux.

Professional soccer player Ashlyn Harris lent her voice to the effort.

And "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" creator Rob McElhenney even asked Aniya if she wanted a guest spot on the show.


But surely, one of the best reactions came from William Penn Senior High School.

Principal Brandon Carter invited Aniya and her date to the school's prom on May 21.

"We embrace all," he said in the invite.

It may not be the prom she had in mind, but hopefully it will be a fun, welcoming, night to remember.

Hear from Aniya and her mother about their experience in this short clip from ABC News.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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