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Deserving high schoolers finally getting a prom after four years

“We have kids from different situations and they’re dealing with adult stuff, and so they deserve a time to be a kid they deserve something to look forward to."

LONE TREE, Colo. — The students at Eagle Academy are starting a new tradition this year by attending the school’s first-ever prom.

The school is an alternative afternoon and evening high school that serves students between the ages of 16 and 20. For the first time since 1997, the school is hosting a prom for their students to be able to have fun and relax.

“Sometimes coming to an alternative setting, we don’t have some of those experiences that larger high schools can have,” said principal Jeff Broeker. “So being able to orchestrate something like this and create a memory for kids is huge.”

Eagle Academy will be hosting its first prom on April 29 at the Legacy Campus in Lone Tree. The theme of the night will be “A Night in Paris."

It’s a project that volunteer coordinator Heather Clark has been working on for the past four years.

“I started planning this in 2019 before 2020 and we all know what happened in 2020,” Clark said. “It’s important to me that when it’s important to students that we try to make it happen.”

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According to the school, some students are working part-time and full-time jobs to help pay for groceries and rent at their homes.

Clark said events like this give their students something to look forward to.

“I feel like at Eagle, we have kids that are dealing with situations that aren’t normal for most teenagers,” Clark said. “We have kids from different situations and they’re dealing with adult stuff, and so they deserve a time to be a kid they deserve something to look forward to a not have to stress about it, they just show up.”

The prom is helping students like junior Jay Sullivan, who’s looking forward to a night and dancing and having fun with her friends.

“I’m kind of excited about that actually, I’ve never been able to go to prom, so I get to go to my first one,” Sullivan said.

“I’m just so excited to be able to go and have fun and dance and just let loose for once and just dance out all the stress I have.”

When Lone Tree council member Marissa Harmon learned that this was the school’s first prom, she and her sister Jessica Crimi wanted to help. They both own Root and Mane hair salon and partnered with Clover’s Closet, a nonprofit based in Castle Rock that offers free formal attire to students. 

The two companies partnered to host a prom drive to bring formal clothing options to Eagle students free of charge.

Credit: 9NEWS
Lone Tree council member Marissa Harmon

“These are kids that are facing financial insecurity, housing insecurity, food insecurity so I knew there was a large need,” Harmon said. “We wanted each of these students to feel like they have the opportunity to show up to prom, feeling their best and excited to be able to experience that time with other students.”

The goal is for the students of Eagle Academy to relax and have fun by starting a new tradition at an un-traditional school.

“Our kids generally can be very successful when you approach their learning in a non-traditional way,” Broeker said. “I think creating these opportunities for kids to just kick back, be their age, have fun in a safe environment is huge.”

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