With donated prom dresses as a backdrop, Nicole Richard, founder of The Prom Project, talks to Joel Flores JoyFM station manager.
“I just want them to remember their prom in a positive way. A lot of girls look back and think, I didn’t go to my prom because I couldn’t afford it and I don’t want any girl to go through that.”
Nicole Richard, founder of The Prom Project
For many students, the prom is the pinnacle of the high school experience. Along with graduating, going to prom is a celebration where everyone can dress up and feel special. Where the teachers come to cheer you on for all the hard work. Where you show up in a sports car, or sometimes a tractor, for a night of fun and glamour.
Unfortunately it can also be a very expensive outing. With prom dresses running anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and that, on top of costs to have make up, hair and nails done, It can sometimes be a difficult night when that special dress someone wanted is out of the price range. So Nicole Richard, an employee of Le Chateau decided to try to do something about it. The idea is simple. Many girls go to prom and buy dresses for that one night and put them in their closets never to be worn again. Why don’t we collect these dresses, some still with tags on them, and give them to girls who might need them.
Nicole shares that she was first inspired when students and their parents would come into Le Chateau and leave disappointed because of not being able to purchase a dress. “Last year seeing all these parents come in and their young daughters seeing these dresses that they absolutely love and the mothers just cringing at the prices and having to tell their daughter I can’t afford that. I just want them to remember their prom in a positive way. A lot of girls look back and think, I didn’t go to my prom because I couldn’t afford it and I don’t want any girl to go through that.”
Nicole started the whole project just as a facebook page and says she has been blown away by the response. “It’s reached Nova Scotia, I had a young girl approach me and say that I inspired her and she’s now started something in the same respect in Nova Scotia. People in Alberta have seen my facebook group and now I have four dresses coming from Alberta so it’s really become bigger than I had thought.”
It seems more and more people are thinking of things they can do for the community and using social media as a forum for change. The Ice Bucket Challenge fund raising of 2014 was a great example of how social media can help people to work together for a cause. That campaign had them eventually raise over 100 million dollars for ALS. But it isn’t always about the massive viral projects.
“If I can make it (the prom) positive in any little way, that’s what I want to do.” What if we used social media to make these small positive changes?
Nicole says she would love for this campaign to become an annual thing but the community still needs to get involved. She is also looking to partner with Hair salons and make up artists to hopefully get gift certificates for some girls to have their whole evening taken care of.
If you would like to donate a dress, accessories or shoes, or if you or someone you know would like to support The Prom Project you can email Nicole at email@example.com or drop off dresses to JoyFM, 778 MacLaren Avenue or call them at 454-9600.
Please watch and share the video below!!