KUSA – Who pays more for prom? Boys or girls? You’ll likely find lots of people willing to debate that question—including teens… and their parents. In the throes of prom season, a lot of prom-goers find it tough get everything they need within a reasonable budget. That’s where some programs come in to help girls get the dresses of their dreams. But who helps the boys?
“We also need attention just as women do,” said 18-year-old Elliot Amerdi, a senior at Manuel High School.
Whereas so many prom programs focus on donating to girls, the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado created a giveaway for girls and boys. They turned a spare room at Manual High School into Inspire Boutique, complete with fancy wallpaper and designer decorations.
“What we want to do is make sure our students know they’re important,” said Dr. Ryan Ross, President and CEO of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado.
Group helping boys with prom
A group of leaders tasked with creating a service project for the foundation chose to create Inspire Boutique. Shayla Perkins spearheaded the effort, choosing the teens who wrote essays about what going to prom would mean to them.
“Some work two jobs or their parents lost their jobs and they have to use that money to help their family,” said Perkins.
The girls get to choose their dresses and heels while boys pick out suits and shoes. Accessories like jewelry and ties are also included. The cost of their prom tickets is also covered.
“This has been about $2,000 raised and a lot of really great people just giving,” said Ross.
ARC Thrift Stores donated to the cause. Providing everything from decorations to vouchers. The students had personal shoppers help them make their selections, which were then sent to the dry cleaners ahead of the big day. And the experience continues right on up to prom night.
“The morning or day of prom, they actually get a glam squad,” said Ross. “The boys will get a barber, the young ladies get a makeup artist and a hairdresser.”
The foundation hopes the students also learn a life lesson.
“They see leaders who look like them giving back to them, so (we hope) that they want to pay it forward as well,” said Ross.
Charlie Jones, a junior at Manuel High School, appreciates the new outfit he got, courtesy of the “Prom Squad.”
“My mom works a non-profit job. So it’s not a high paying job. If I was to get a suit, it wouldn’t be as good as this one. I probably wouldn’t even have a jacket,” he said.
He’s already thinking about what a new suit can do for him far after prom night is over.
“I look really nice,” he said. “I could get a job in this suit!”