Missoula student organizes talent show for senior project


MISSOULA, Mont. - A one-of-a-kind show impressed audience members Wednesday in Missoula.

Nearly a dozen special needs high school students took the stage to show off what they've got; many danced, sang and played musical instruments for a cheering crowd.

Big Sky High School senior Jessica Browder has been a Special Olympics coach for three years, and she tells us she thoroughly enjoys working with special needs kids.

That's why it's little wonder she knew exactly what she wanted to do for her senior project. She says it's rewarding to see how excited the students are to perform.

"They're so excited, they're so ready and they're so happy about being able to perform," Browder says.

Browder started making arrangements for the ‘We've Got Exceptional Talents' show back in October, and she says it's been a lot of work.

"I had to talk to parents, kids and teachers and organize everything," she explains. "I had to request the stage and make sure we can have it for this night, so it's a lot of different steps but it's all worth it."

Browder says her efforts paid off Wednesday night as the crowd cheered and clapped along with several of the dance performances.

"I've been really interested in them and I thought this would be a good opportunity for them to perform skills outside of class and sports," she says. "This is an avenue they don't get to go down very much."

16-year-old Blaguna Graham performed and emceed the event.

We asked her what she planned to sing. "I'm dancing and singing to the song ‘Thriller!'" replied Graham.

"I'm just really glad that I can help them and give them this opportunity," smiles Browder.

Browder tells NBC Montana she's proud of all the performers and wants to thanks her teachers, advisors and family for their support.