CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - Some South Florida teens are getting the chance to dress to impress at their upcoming proms, and a popular cable TV show host did his part to help make this couture excursion possible.
As organizers across South Florida work tirelessly to put together these school galas, students are trying to figure out what they’re going to wear to their big dance.
For some teens, that’s a question they didn’t think they would get to answer, but that was before popular TV personality Monte Durham entered the picture.
7News cameras rolled in Coral Gables as students tried on dresses and suits. “I like the way it flows, and it’s really pretty, and blue is my favorite color,” said student Emeline Tellev as she modeled her dress.
This was no run-of-the-mill shopping mall outing. The fittings were part of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Prom,” a spin-off of the network’s popular reality show “Say Yes to the Dress.”
It’s an opportunity for these students that Durham was happy to make a reality. “When you put on something you feel good in, or you put on something you feel beautiful in, automatically it’s about empowerment,” he said. “It’s about building confidence. It’s about, ‘Yes, you can do this.'”
Students across Miami-Dade Public Schools were chosen to be a part of the once-in-a-lifetime experience. These teens otherwise would not have had the chance to look their best on prom night.
“Growing up, my mom was a single mom, so I never really knew if I was going to have enough money to get a prom dress and to get everything,” said Tellev. “Now that this has happened, it’s like unbelievable.”
Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said these teens are underserved but academically high-achieving. “When you stand out because you feel inadequate about what you’re wearing, where the simple fact that you may not have the funds for the makeup or to do your hair just right, the right dress or the right suit, you know, you feel like you’re a lesser person,” he said.
And, for the first time, male students got in on the action. “I want to look very good on my prom night, and I want to do it good,” said student Gueoby Francis.
The hope is that looking good will lift their spirits and make their prom as special as it can be. “Maybe like my last time having a party with my high school friends, you know what I’m saying?” said Francis. “Go with them, chill with them, go out my last prom. It is important to me.”
“Everything’s, like, happening so fast,” said Tellev. “I have no words to say. It’s unbelievable.”
Many of the dresses the students tried on were designed by Macy’s for this event. The retailer will make some of them available in stores.
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