The event was a partnership between the League of United Latin American Citizens and Discovery to help students celebrate the milestone they missed during COVID.
WASHINGTON — Students who have spent the past two years stuck in a pandemic that included virtual school, social isolation and many typical school traditions canceled, got to experience some joy brought back to the classroom ahead of one of the most major events of the year for high school students.
The event served to empower and excite the few dozen lucky students from EL Haynes Charter School in Northwest DC who were able to attend; many of whom were members of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the group that helped organize the event alongside Discovery, Inc.
The media company drew inspiration for the event from its own show, TLC’s say yes to the dress.
The aptly named “Say Yes to Prom” event brought together organizers, educators and students passionate about LULAC’s mission as the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization, according to their website.
Many of the students who participated identify as having Latin American heritage, organizers said, and were chosen first to attend the event.
“A lot of them are first-generation immigrants, so there’s a bit of a disconnect, as some parents don’t fully understand the prom experience and how important it is to someone in high school who is going through it. crosses,” said the program director. at LULAC, Sandra Caraveo told WUSA9. She added that it’s also great to ease the financial burden of prom shopping for families, which can lead to such a high price tag.
“I think it’s very special for us to achieve some of these dreams… It’s a very big step for some of these students and to be able to just go ahead and share this with people who come from the same background,” she said. said, noting what a rite of passage prom can look like for American high school students.
After half a day at school, students were taken by bus to the famous Hamilton Hotel on 14th Street in the Northwest and were greeted with lunch. The girls were then taken to a room with over 600 dresses, shoes and accessories and had the opportunity to try on anything that caught their eye. The young men did the same, with a $100 gift card for the rental of a tuxedo, shoes and accessories.
The students then got a makeover and participated in mentoring sessions focused on building self-esteem and emotional intelligence.
“We weren’t sure if we were even going to be able to have prom this year because of the pandemic,” said student participant Glendi Herrera. “To be able to have this opportunity to even choose a dress or have this experience that girls and boys didn’t have last year or the previous two years; it’s amazing to have this opportunity now.”
Spanish teacher Gaberella Navidi-Kasmai also shared the magic of the event and how exciting it was to see the students, some of whom she taught and watched go through the four years of high school, having fun. and be at their best.
“You heard Spanish and English in the rooms. And I found it really beautiful that everyone communicates – not just in one language – but at least two languages, in order to show their enthusiasm and help each other,” she shared of her experience as a chaperone.
“It was wonderful to join them on this journey. For them to have excitement; to have fun. Prom is a good time, [we all] Remember.”
More information about LULAC and how to get involved can be found on their website. Click here to find out more.
RELATED: Census Undercounted Black and Latino Populations; impact on DC yet to be seen
RELATED: Montgomery County Helps Students and Families Learn the Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence
WUSA9 is now enabled Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.
Download the WUSA9 app to get the latest news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.
Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your journey. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, which will provide you with the latest news and a summary of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.