Special education teacher at Lackawanna High surprises deserving student with Ariana Grande concert tickets during pep rally

Jen Willats is a special education teacher at Lackawanna High School. She meets amazing kids every day, but one has touched her heart. His name is Cornell Jones, a young man who Willats says is a delightful, talented student with the most amazing personality.

“Although his world can be trying at times, he has this incredible ability to bring positive energy to those around him. Whether he himself is having a bad day or not, his mission is to make yours the best day ever! You can’t help but smile at his wittiness and sense of humor,” said Willats.

Willats says Cornell has so many talents and loves to share them with others. He works at the school’s bistro, where he excitedly shares his admiration for Ariana Grande with customers.

“His excitement motivates other students. It’s wonderful to see all of the connections and friendships he has made through Ariana conversations,” she said.

Cornell has even created a playlist for customers to enjoy. He knows just about everything there is to know about Ariana Grande. He has all of her songs memorized and draws portraits of her to share with teachers, friends and family.

“He is without a doubt Ariana Grande’s biggest fan,” said Willats.

One of Cornell’s dreams is to go to an Ariana Grande concert, so Willats went on a mission to make this dream a reality. During a school pep rally last week, Cornell was surprised in front of the entire school with Ariana Grande tickets with his amazing teacher by his side. To celebrate this incredible news, Cornell was given the mic to sing his heart out to one of Ariana’s songs and he answered a few trivia questions as the crowd cheered. The beautiful moment can be seen below.

“It’s moments like this that make it all worth it,” said Willats. “Thanks to all who made this special moment possible! We are so fortunate to have such a wonderfully supportive, accepting and encouraging group of diverse staff and students at Lackawanna High School. Keeping our fingers crossed that someone out there can help us pull off a meet and greet with Ariana!”

Share this story if you believe teachers are amazing. And tag Ariana so she can meet the sweet and  talented Cornell!  ❤️

Thank you to Kids Event Tickets, a nonprofit organization that made the tickets possible after hearing Cornell’s story.

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