Dancing to the Beat of Their Dreams


Members of ESYN pose for a picture. Photo by Chloe Mendoza

Christian Garnica, Reporter

The fourth Annual Exceptional Sports for Youth with Needs (ESYN) Halloween celebration occurred on October 19, 2019. Parents and their children dressed up and gathered at Selma High School’s dining hall to play games, do crafts, and eat desserts. This dance offered an opportunity for children with special needs to gather and experience Halloween as a community.

The ESYN organization started when three moms which include, Jeanette Ontiveros, Charlotte Beggs and Roxanne Marshall, all decided they wanted their children to have the same opportunities as everyone else when it came to sports. 

“We wanted our children to have the same opportunity as their peers,” explained Jeannette Ontiveros, a parent of one of the students. 

In 2016, the group had one of their first events at the Selma Bowling Alley where only 28 participants attended . However, as of this year the number of the group nearly doubled. They started out with kids that originated from Selma but many people began to hear about the ESYN which allowed the organization to grow. 

The ESYN also holds many other events which include bowling, indoor soccer, an easter egg hunt, and breakfast with Santa. The sports last for five weeks and continue throughout the year in between holiday parties. With each event they try to plan and accommodate to everyone’s needs. Their goal is for all the children to have as much fun in an environment where they can be themselves. 

The Selma community is supportive when it comes to volunteering for setting up or participating in events. Most of the volunteers include middle schoolers, high schoolers, or parents. 

“I think it’s important to volunteer because I want to give back to the community and bring awareness to the special needs community,” said sophomore Exodus Rodriguez. 

Due to the high numbers of student volunteers, parents were able to enjoy an evening with their children instead of working the event and missing out. 

Shelly Orosco is the mother of Ashton, who is 10 years old. 

“These events are important for the kids to feel involved but also for relationships of the parents. We all support each other,” said Orosco.

This year’s Halloween Bash allowed the children of the special needs community to unite and have a wonderful time.