The party bus pulled up to the end of the red carpet. As the door opened, applause filled the air and flashes of light from cameras filled the air. Young women in designer gowns with styled hair and perfect nails stepped onto the carpet beside young men in tailored suits and tuxedos. They walked the carpet to the designated photo space where they were directed to pose and smile.
Was this a Hollywood awards event or a movie premiere?
No, it was the 2022 Thomas Academy prom with a Met Gala theme.
This special night for all Thomas Academy students was made possible through a variety of support.
The Student Government Association selected the theme and decorated the photo area under the guidance of teacher Jody Watts.
Boys and Girls Homes staff Johnna Harrelson, Sharon Connor, Crystal Coyle, and Lisa Brown decorated the other prom areas while the BGHNC farm staff quickly converted the facility from horseshow ready to prom presentation.
BGHNC President/CEO Ricky Creech prepared the food for the pre-prom dinner served by members of the executive team.
Many of the designer dresses were donated by individuals and civic groups for use by residential and community students alike. The tuxedos and suits were provided through donations and discounted rates by Jos. A. Bank thanks to Matthew Diamond and Gina Patrick.
Southeastern Community College’s Cosmetology Department provided hair and nail appointments for campus youth.
The prom experience is an example of the Waccamaw Way model of care in action. Students are given the intentionally glamorous prom experience from the dress and tuxedo fittings to the beauty treatments, from the catered meal to the red carpet treatment. This gives them a night to feel the magic possible for this high school experience taken for granted by students in the general public.
For one extra special night, our youth at Thomas Academy get to experience a prom like no other in the community made possible by many caring individuals behind the scenes.
Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.