Project Upstart Helps Teens In Need Enjoy Prom

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Prom night is the night many high school seniors dream of, but unfortunately not all students are able to attend because it can be very expensive. Now, thanks to Project UpSTART, hundreds of Miami-Dade County Public students will be given the opportunity and they’ll do so all glammed up.

In her beautiful dress, student Jerdweika Johnson said, “Yes, I love it. It’s awesome.” Jerdweika feels like a princess, while all dressed up for her memorable night. “I’m very excited and looking gorgeous. What else can I ask for?”

Jerdweika is one of hundreds of students getting dressed to the nines in fancy dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry; everything she will need for the big night at the UpSTART Prom Boutique at Lindsey Hopkins Technical College.

“The fact that needy kids come here and gear up and dress up for this all important milestone should be given to all of them,” said Miami-Dade County Public School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

For the ladies, there are hundreds of dresses to choose from and for the young men, racks and racks of suits, ties and shoes. They are also getting fitted for their tuxes courtesy of the Men’s Warehouse.

Project UpSTART is a Miami-Dade County Public Schools program that supports close to 6,000 homeless students. It’s a cause near and dear to Superintendent Carvalho.

“Because I often tell them, for about a month in a half, I was homeless in South Florida.  I know what it’s like to have concrete as my mattress and the stars as my blanket. No kid should have to have that feeling,” explained Carvalho.

Jerdweika says she can relate but thanks to this program and the generosity of so many, her senior prom will be unforgettable.

“I feel special people care and that’s all that matters.”

Not only are more than 500 students being given everything needed for prom from the dress, suit, money for the prom ticket there is also another store here at Lindsey Hopkins where they can come year round for clothes, toiletries anything they may need.

More from Marybel Rodriguez
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