Although prom might seem like a standard part of a high school student’s experience, the special night isn’t a reality for many teenagers who face financial burdens. But last Saturday, a group of 40 students from Chicago got the opportunity to attend a prom hosted by two local non-profit organizations, reports ABC.
Teen Living Programs Chicago, an organization that provides services for homeless youth, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Heart, which is focused on empowering teenage girls, joined forces to host the prom at the Center Church of God in Christ in Chicago. The space was decorated, two attendees were named prom king and queen, and both social workers and students performed throughout the night. Other organizations donated money for the men to be dressed in tuxedos and the women to receive hair and makeup services.
“They all looked so nice. I’m from Chicago so I just wanted to be able to help my hometown. The youth that are at TLP, they work, they’re in school, and they’re doing a lot to try and make due with their situation,” said Kamelah Muhammad, Founder & President of Sisterhood of the Traveling Heart. “I thought it would be a great idea to have a prom because every high school student deserves a prom. For those who may not have had an opportunity — like Jalisa — or for those who needed to be recognized for their resilience. We wanted to create a day of celebration and a memorable evening for them.”
“This prom is amazing because I didn’t ever go to prom,” said 23-year-old attendee Jalisa Thurston. Thurston didn’t go to her high school prom after being kicked out of school and getting pregnant. “I feel like I’m getting married. I’m glad I met [TLP Chicago] because they’re wonderful. It’s real pretty. It’s beautiful. I’m just enjoying myself and this great experience and [I’m] just smiling and laughing and living.”
One of the prom’s performers, Michael Brown, shared that the evening was nothing short of a memorable one. “The day is really nice! The energy is really nice in the room. The ambiance is beautiful,” he said. “It’s a night to remember.”
SOURCE: ABC | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Facebook