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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two western Wisconsin high school seniors are heading to Washington, D.C. because of their good deed in a nursing home.

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Allie Jennings and Rachel Leonard grew up, and grew together, in Ellsworth.

“We work together, so we’re constantly together all the time,” Jennings said.

They work at Prescott Nursing Home, where the high school seniors have truly become a force for good. It all started when Gladys, one of their favorite residents, asked them to stop by on prom day.

“It was canceled, so we thought, well, we already have all the money and everything put in it anyway, so we might as well make some people’s day with it, so it turned out to be really good, obviously,” Leonard said.

The residents had a surprise for them, too.

“We walked down to Gladys Anderson’s room and she had a little sign for us, and she had tiaras, and she put one on each of us, and she named us Princess Allie and Princess Rachel,” Jennings said.

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“It was really heartwarming,” Leonard said. “I know right when we walked in with Gladys we both kind of started crying, and you could hear people in the background of the video saying, ‘I’m going to cry’ [laughs]!”

The moment went viral, and news spread all the way to the White House. President Donald Trump is hosting a special graduation for 20 seniors because of their good deeds. Jennings, Leonard and their moms will fly to the Capitol Thursday, and they got another surprise from the local rod and gun club: $750 each for spending cash.

Mark Stoesz is principal of Ellsworth High School.

“This would fall right in line with 2020, just, you can’t make it up,” Stoesz said. “We’ve not had anything like this happen to us before, and we’re so excited because these girls are great representatives of our class.”

Now, the famous seniors who so beautifully honored their seniors will have memories they never could have imagined.

“It turned into something we’re never gonna forget,” Leonard said.

After the girls graduate virtually from Ellsworth High, Leonard plans to get her nurse practitioner degree, and Jennings plans to become a physical therapist.

They will be two of just 20 seniors honored by the White House. They will be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield