MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is once again opening a Prom Boutique, an annual initiative aimed at ensuring all students have the opportunity to attend their senior prom regardless of their economic situation.

For a few deserving students from Homestead Senior High School’s Project Up-Start program, the search got a little easier Tuesday. Wilna Bornelus already knows what she’s looking for.

“I’m looking for something black but not so showing, but also classic and very silky to fit my body and nothing too baggy,” she said.

The Miami-Dade Prom Boutique, located at the Lindsay Hopkins Technical College, gives students the chance to shop for their prom outfits and accessories all for free, taking away the stress and worry about paying for prom.

“It’s something I wanted to go to, its the highlight of your senior year,” said Aaron King. “Every senior should be able to go to prom. So I’m actually really excited that you have done this event because its pretty special.”

Superintendent Jose L. Dotres, alongside school board members and community partners, is promoting the cause to support economically fragile students.

“We have over 7,400 students that are living in situations that are considered unstable housing and we know that as this city becomes more and more expensive to live in, more and more of our students, and their families, are experiencing hardships,” said Dotres.

The initiative, led by the M-DCPS and the Project Up-Start program staff, provides these items at no cost, thanks to generous donations from local community members, stores and organizations.

“We eliminate those barriers to ensure that those students get the same experience as their counterparts,” said Fred Clermont, director of Project Up-Start.

The Prom Boutique also helps cover other senior expenses like grad bash, senior activities, and even graduation caps and gowns, through monetary donations.

When asked how he felt about the suit he picked out, Adrian said, “Its nice, you know, it looks good.”

For Bornelus, her final selection was not what she expected.

“When i first came in here, I thought I was going to find a nice, black silky dress, but I tried the red. The red really popped on me,” she said. “It makes me feel really good. It makes me feel like I can step out and find other colors, not just a simple black dress.”

All of the students who attended this event said they felt like “a million bucks” when they walked out of the boutique with their choices. Each week from March through the first week of June, the boutique serves 60 to 100 students.

Any interested students within the school district should contacts their counselor to learn more about the program and to see if they qualify to shop for free.

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