The Prom Project conducted their annual Boutique Day on Saturday, March 11 at First United Methodist Church in Fullerton.
Put on by the YWCA of North Orange County, this non-profit gives high school seniors from low-income families the opportunity to feel confident and beautiful at their proms.
The Prom Project was started in 2007 by a mother and daughter duo who wanted to create an opportunity for all girls to enjoy prom and break the financial barrier that was created.
“This project is definitely passion driven for me, I grew up in a single family home and prom was very challenging financially,” Johanna Hulme, a member of the advisory committee and fourth-year volunteer for the Prom Project said. “For me, I literally bought some five dollar shoes, and thrift some earrings to glue onto them, borrowed a dress and had my aunt curl my hair for my prom.”
This year they had more volunteers than they have ever acquired before, coming from all over the North Orange County area. Each girl was accompanied by a personal shopper to help walk them through the process of picking their dress, shoes and accessories.
Members of Jett Communications, a PR agency comprised of Cal State Fullerton Students were there to lend a helping hand.
Some of Fullerton College’s Cosmetology students and E.I Professional Makeup School were there to give the girls tips and tricks on styling their hair for the big night.
As girls chose their dresses they were taken to pick out jewelry and shoes, then escorted to get their hair and makeup done.
“This is so fun for us, in class, we practice on doll heads, and occasional clients but to put our studies to work and to be helping these young ladies out is so rewarding,” Amanda Perez, a cosmetology volunteer said. “I do it for their smiles, it’s always rewarding.”
“Boutique Day” is designed to pamper the girls, empower them and promote self-confidence.
“Most girls when they walk in here are very shy, and timid, but once they go through the process and I see them walking around laughing and smiling with our volunteers, it really makes all of planning worth it!” Hulme said.
Brands such as Ever Pretty sent boxes of brand new dresses in as donation. All clothing and accessories are received as donations from the community. It is with their help that the Prom Project is possible.
There was a community of woman that came together to create an unforgettable day and sacrifice their time to make these young ladies feel beautiful.
“It is our mission to teach these girls self-confidence and inner beauty before they walk out our doors!” Hulme concluded.
To get more information, to see a list of sponsors, or interested in volunteering next year please contact the Prom Project YWCA visit their website.