Dresses accomplished! Operation Prom helps high schoolers with gown giveaway

Dresses accomplished! Operation Prom helps high schoolers with gown giveaway
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Here’s a prom-onition — these teens will have a fantastic prom!

More than 250 students received free prom dresses at the third-annual Operation Prom — a formal wear giveaway for low-income students who are doing well in school — at Borough Hall on April 25.

Soaring prom costs can cause some students to dread the dance that’s a rite of passage for teenagers, according to the director of the organization’s Brooklyn chapter, who said youngsters throughout the borough should be able to dance the night away with friends before graduating high school.

“We know that costs for prom can add up quickly, and that some kids just can’t afford to attend,” said director Dawn Simon. “Prom is one of those quintessential high school experiences no one should have to miss and especially not for financial reasons.”

There were more than 1,000 dresses for students to shift through, along with essential accessories, including high-heeled shoes and clutches. And to ensure a phenomenal fit, a Staten Island seamstress is performing alterations on the dresses at no charge, because she said she knows how expensive it was to send her three kids to prom.

Ready to rock: Elijah Lopez reaches for the sky as he stands on the red carpet.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

“It was very, very hard to buy them all the things they needed,” said Sheryl Gordon of Sew Perfect.

One student said she found her dream dress — and it felt like it was made just for her.

“It was everything I was looking in my prom dress,” said Hakima Mathis, a senior at It Takes a Village Academy in East Flatbush. “It was the perfect color … it was the right size, the design was perfect — it had a flower on the shoulder and it had a trail.”

To receive a prom dress at no cost, students must be passing all their classes, receive a recommendation from their guidance counselor, meet the financial need requirement, and register in advance — so the youngsters who take part are certainly deserving, according to Simon.

“Our prom-dress giveaway is our way of helping students who live in Brooklyn participate in this important night and we are lucky to have community-based partners help make it happen for these deserving young people,” said Simon.

A dress to impress: Students sifted through more than 1,000 prom dresses while they searched for their dream dress.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.