Empowering Girls for Prom Regardless of Budget


Lin Tajeken Jeufack

Prom is an exciting time of year for juniors and seniors (sometimes even for underclassmen). It is an experience unique to high school that so many look forward to.

With prom comes a lot of preparation. You have to find a dress (which can range from 100-600 dollars), a suit, shoes, jewelry, or get your hair and make up done. All of these costs can add up, and not everyone can afford them. Young girls anywhere shouldn’t have to miss prom because it is out of their budget.

Last year 2022 graduate Jewel Malick launched the Pop Up Dress Shop in which people in the community donate dresses for others to shop at free of costs. This year Kenwood’s social worker Ms. Reaves worked with Perry Hall High’s two social workers to collect 200 dresses and the Pop Up Dress Shop was hosted at Perry Hall on March 25. From February to March 13th, coordinators were encouraging anyone to donate long length formal gowns or dresses in good conditions and various sizes. Next year the event will be hosted here at Kenwood again.

For those who attend prom looking and feeling good is a must. Kenwood’s Ms Cox’s organization Empower4Life helped promote and collect dresses. “Every young woman deserves to feel and look beautiful for their high school formal events regardless of their financial or family circumstances,” stated Empower4Life. The collection of dresses help “promote confidence and self-esteem to high school girls so that they can attend their formal prom events in style, regardless of financial budget”. From kids, to athletes, you feel better and play better when you are satisfied with your appearance. That is why events like the dress donation matter. It is important that young girls looking to experience prom feel confident and comfortable in their appearance.

The remaining dresses that were not selected for use this prom season are here at Kenwood and Ms. Reaves will have them available this week for students to check out during lunch shifts. Students can find her and the dresses in the auditorium.

By coming together, as a school and community, we are able to be more inclusive and spread joy to those around us regardless of financial circumstances. Hopefully the dress donations for the pop up shop can continue to be tradition to aid young girls for years to come.