It is officially prom season for the several million high school seniors across our country. Students wait four years for it to be their turn to go to prom, and each year the “promposals” and everything that goes along with this event of a lifetime become much more extravagant. Kids grow up seeing prom in pop culture, expressed as a staple to the American education experience. However, one thing they don’t depict in the movies is how much of an expense it is to attend. Many students who would like to attend their school prom end up missing out due to the price tag. Aside from purchasing a ticket to the dance, there is the cost of a dress or tuxedo rental, hair, makeup, jewelry, nails, shoes, prom dinner, transportation, and the corsage/boutonniere.
Thanks to many community partners, CIS is ensuring that every student has the same opportunity to attend the prom and to feel and look amazing on their big day. Here are just a few of the multiple events going on for CIS students around Houston:
Spring Branch ISD (SBISD)
At SBISD’s Stratford High School a couple of local businesses coordinated with our CIS Student Support Specialist, Kristen Suleman, at the school to provide the ultimate prom experience for five senior girls. They were transported by limo to the local mall to shop for dresses and accessories, and the business owners even took the girls to an alterations shop afterwards to make sure their dresses fit just right. On the day of the dance a limo will once again pick these girls up and take them to get their hair and makeup done for the dance.
CIS also coordinated with our fabulous partner, Chapelwood United Methodist Church, to coordinate a “Say Yes to the Prom Dress” pop-up boutique for SBISD High Schools. The church was completely transformed for the event and had rows and rows of dresses, shoes, and accessories as well as fitting rooms and community volunteers to be personal shoppers for our students. Seniors were even able to pick out a dress for their graduation day as well. Another great business in SBISD, Paul Mitchell The School, will open up their salon to CIS girls and provide hair and makeup services free of charge before prom night.
Houston ISD (HISD)
At HISD’s Northside High School our very own CIS Student Support Specialist, Rochelle Head, transformed her office into a boutique containing all things prom. With the help of volunteers and community co-sponsors, the students found beautiful dresses, shoes, and jewelry.
Our Student Support Specialist at HISD’s Sam Houston High School, Tanya Hulbert, coordinated several events for her students including “Say Yes to the Prom” sponsored by TLC/The Discovery Channel (a similar concept to their “Say Yes to the Dress” show). She also arranged for her students to participate in The Giving Gown Foundation’s Boutique Day, where personal shoppers helped girls navigate their boutique full of thousands of dresses to find the perfect gown and accessories for them, all completely free of charge! Sam Houston as well as several other of our HISD High Schools participated in Project Prom sponsored by HISD and Fairy Godmother Dress and Tux Fest sponsored by the Houston Public Library.
In Alief ISD Student Support Specialist, Kimberly Satterwhite from Elsik High School, said “A lot of times the girls are shy about telling that they need help or asking for help.” But because of the deep relationships she has developed with her caseload students throughout the year, she took twenty of her CIS students to the Giving Gown Foundation’s Boutique Day. At the event, each girl received a fairy godmother who walked them through the shopping and alterations that they do on the spot, all for free. The day started with a guest speaker for the girls on self-esteem and feeling beautiful, blessed and successful. Many of the dresses were brand new, with the tags still on them. They created an amazing experience that made them feel so special, and every girl left with a dress.
Across the city we have seen our deserving students light up once they find that perfect dress or tuxedo. Aside from ensuring that all students are able to have the same opportunities during their high school experience, the prom dresses are also a vehicle for talking about self-esteem and building confidence for the students. At CIS, we make it our goal to assure that these students feel celebrated and special because they have worked hard to make it to this point in their school careers and deserve to be celebrated. Thank you to all of our amazing partners nationally and in the community who have played a part in making this prom season successful.