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Prom queen abdicates crown to friend

By Kay S. Pedrotti Xenya Velasco, the young woman who received the most votes for prom queen at Lamar County high school, abdicated the throne almost immediately ‘“ she gave the crown to her friend Ashlie Sweatman. ‘I just felt it was the right thing to do,’ Velasco said. ‘I didn’t need that crown and I knew Ashlie would love it. She’s a special person and she worked hard to campaign for prom queen.’ Ashlie said very simply, ‘It was really cool.’ She ‘kind of’ expected something to happen when Velasco won, ‘because she is so awesome.’ The two are friends at school. Sweatman is in Mollie Spurlock’s special education class while Velasco is on a work-study plan toward becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant. She will attend Gordon State College, she said, but Sweatman said she would be back at LCCHS for some more classes, even though both girls graduate this year. Velasco said she has a cousin who has special needs, so she understands it is important to build confidence whenever possible. The daughter of Tommy and April Sweatman, Ashlie has two sisters and five brothers. In her family Velasco has two younger sisters and an aunt who is just nine months older, ‘so she’s like a big sister.’ Her parents are Patricia Duran and Manfredo Velasco. Sweatman said she had a good time dancing at the prom, as did Velasco. Her parents were very happy when she got the crown, said Ashlie: ‘My mom cried.’ According to others at prom, she wasn’t the only one.

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