Gabbie Moneymaker is a rising senior at Panther Creek High School in Cary, North Carolina, and one of the leaders of the Panther Creek Socialites Club whose name belies its true mission. The Socialites is a club for high school students to make friends–specifically helping to build bonds between students with disabilities and their peers.
Members of the Socialites Club hang out at lunch time, plan to meet up at school basketball games, and otherwise make high school seem more normal to a group of teens who are rarely treated as such, in part because all teenagers at that age are struggling to fit in.
Last fall, Gabbie started a movement to make sure Socialite members were included in another rite: the high school dance, which now includes elaborate date invitations that garner Instagram hits for days. It continued this spring when Gabbie and others invited their peers in the Socialites Club to prom.
To invite Nick to the dance, Gabbie rounded up friends, made posters and arranged for him to attend a minor league baseball game where the invitation also appeared on the stadium scoreboard.
I talked to Gabbie about her experience working the disabled, the prom movement and her plans for the future in this week’s If I Die In Raleigh podcast.