Cecilia Foster said that she remembers when her daughter Sarah Foster, who has autism, would sit at home on weekends because she had no friends.
"No one from her school would talk to her or invite her to parties," she said. "It just broke my heart."
But things have changed and Sarah Foster, a senior at MacArthur High School in Levittown, has many friends and a very active social life. On Saturday, the 20-year-old served as the grand marshal of the school's homecoming festivities.
"It's overwhelming and we are so excited for her," Cecilia Foster said. "Levittown has embraced her since she got here."
Sarah Foster was educated in another Long Island school district for years, but it could not meet her needs, Cecilia Forster said.
"Since coming to the Levittown District she has made phenomenal strides academically and socially," Cecilia Foster said.
Sarah Foster will graduate from MacArthur in June and has been working in retail for years.
Diann Drury, Sarah's special education teacher, said that her student has grown tremendously.
"When I first met Sarah she was capable of doing a lot, but this year she really bloomed," she said. "We are hoping to get her out in the community more."
During the MacArthur homecoming game, many of Sarah Foster's classmates congratulated her on becoming grand marshall.
"It was fun," Sarah said.
Her mom said that her Sarah's future looks bright.
"After graduation we are hoping that she has a job and we are looking into classes at Nassau Community College," she said.
As Sarah laughed with her friends, her father, George Foster, beamed with pride.
"Watching her is like watching an elevator that never goes down, it just continues to go up," he said.