Earlier this spring, a deserving group of young women from two CPS high schools gathered at Harpo Studios to “Say Yes to the Prom”.
The brainchild of Discovery Communications, “Say Yes to the Prom” strives to make prom more accessible to girls nationwide, providing not only dresses, but mentoring opportunities that help young women connect with industry professionals and build a positive self-image.
The program began three years ago in Silver Spring, Maryland, home to Discovery’s global headquarters, and was expanded this year to include students from Chicago and Des Moines. Through partnerships with Comcast, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and Harpo Studios, nearly 30 girls from Curie and Julian high schools were provided a fashionable prom wardrobe and worked with salon experts to create a personalized hair and makeup look. To complete the ensemble, JCPenney donated a wide range of prom accessories, including clutches, shawls and jewelry. The event concluded with a red carpet reveal hosted by Monte Durham, star of TLC’s hit show “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta”.
To ensure that their program goes beyond the dress, Discovery pairs all participating girls with an adult mentor who acts as their coach, personal shopper and style assistant throughout the day. To further build these relationships, and to reinforce the day’s overarching goal of building courage and self-confidence, a pre-prom mixer and networking event were also hosted for CPS students. Additionally, each girl received a letter from First Lady Michelle Obama, one of the country’s most outspoken champions for the empowerment of young women.
“Say Yes to the Prom’s expansion is a testament to the incredible success of the past two years and the power that can be found in the collective effort of partners across the industry,” said Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer for Discovery Communications. “Pairing like-minded organizations with creative on-air talent and local vendors has created an unmatched team and incredible initiative – one with the power to make a positive impact on girls across the country.”