MODELING—Lashawnda Rorster, Aaliyah Bailey and Indyha Fielder show off their dresses in front of Project Prom.

MODELING—Lashawnda Rorster, Aaliyah Bailey and Indyha Fielder show off their dresses in front of Project Prom.

PITTSBURGH—The Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) annual Project Prom giveaway of prom attire to eligible high school students began with the gown giveaway kickoff on March 5, at the Project Prom Shop in Century III Mall, West Mifflin. The gown giveaway continued March 7 through 11 and March 15 through 17.

IMANI BROWNING from the North Side showing off her dress. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

IMANI BROWNING from the North Side showing off her dress. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

An assortment of free, beautiful gowns of all colors and styles were distributed to teens that met the eligibility requirements. The teens had plenty of options in brand new and gently used prom gowns. There were also a selection of accessories, such as purses and jewelry, to accompany the gowns. Volunteers were available to assist during the shopping experience.

To be eligible, high school students had to live in Allegheny County and meet one of the following requirements:

•Receive services through child welfare, or mental health or intellectual disability services, or receive substance use disorder (drug & alcohol) treatment;

•Live in a homeless shelter or transitional or bridge housing program.

They may also be eligible if they or a household member:

•Received food assistance from a food pantry or utility assistance;

•Received or is eligible to receive free or reduced-price school lunches;

•Received unemployment benefits;

•Is in military active duty or a veteran.

Additional Project Prom events:

The first Project Prom Primping Pajama Party was a prom and beauty demonstration fair to help participants look and feel their best for prom. The party included a complimentary catered brunch and a refresher course with a certified etiquette coach. Participants also got first access to the selection of prom gowns on a special day before the gown giveaway started.

The annual Project Prom for Gentlemen event was a free catered dinner to teach teens proper etiquette in formal situations and was open to eligible guests. The teens also received a certificate for a free tux rental.

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services will hold a sale of formal dresses on Saturday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Project Prom Shop, located on the third floor of Century III Mall. The public will have the opportunity to purchase formalwear and accessories at a fraction of the retail price and help support Project Prom and Project Prom for Gentleman.

The dresses, priced at or below $25, have been carefully screened to ensure that each is clean and undamaged. The gowns are available through the generosity of retail establishments and individual donations.

 

 

 

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