CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (RNN) – A high school senior whose mother dropped out of school to raise him took his mother as his prom date in order to give her "the prom night she never had."
Joe Moreno, a senior at Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi, TX, told KRIS he promised to take his mom to prom in middle school. His mother, Vanessa Moreno, had her son at 17 and dropped out of high school, missing her own prom, to raise him.
"I knew all the sacrifices my mom made for me. I know that it was a huge sacrifice to drop out of high school when she had me at the age of 17, so I figured that even to take her to prom would be a fantastic idea," Joe Moreno said.
Vanessa Moreno said she didn't think her son would still want to take her to prom by the time he reached senior year, but Joe never forgot his promise.
"Senior year came up and he brought up prom, and I kept asking who he was taking, and he kept reassuring that it was me," Vanessa Moreno said.
Even so, she didn't believe it at first when her son asked if she had picked out a dress.
With her son's help, Vanessa Moreno got to experience everything that teenagers get to experience at prom. He picked her up the night of the dance, showing up with a corsage in hand. She said she felt like a teenager again while shopping for a dress.
The 18-year-old posted prom pictures of the two on Twitter, where the story quickly went viral.
People praised Joe and Vanessa Moreno, the former for his actions and the latter for raising such a thoughtful son.
"This is the sweetest thing ever. Your mom did a beautiful job raising you to be a gentleman," one Twitter user said.
"You're awesome and that is a brilliant idea. You are so blessed with your mom and you are really a blessing to her," another Twitter user said.
Vanessa Moreno said it's overwhelming to be recognized for making sacrifices for her children, something she says she simply felt she had to do.
"Sometimes people don't know the sacrifices us mothers make. We just hope that it does get seen, and I am so glad my son did see my sacrifice and wanted to give back. It meant the world to me," she said.
KSAT reports Joe Moreno talked to school administrators before prom and explained his story. The officials happily approved his request to bring his mom.