Urban League provides select students with prom attire at no cost, releases financial burden for families

Dresses+hang+on+a+rack+in+the+lobby+of+the+Urban+League+of+St.+Louis.+%22It+was+just+a+really+good+bonding+experience+for+a+large+group+of+girls+and+boys+that+maybe+not+would+have+necessarily+gone+shopping+together.%22+said+college+counselor+Erica+Snelson.+
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Urban League provides select students with prom attire at no cost, releases financial burden for families

Dresses hang on a rack in the lobby of the Urban League of St. Louis.

Dresses hang on a rack in the lobby of the Urban League of St. Louis. "It was just a really good bonding experience for a large group of girls and boys that maybe not would have necessarily gone shopping together." said college counselor Erica Snelson.

Elyse Luecke

Dresses hang on a rack in the lobby of the Urban League of St. Louis. "It was just a really good bonding experience for a large group of girls and boys that maybe not would have necessarily gone shopping together." said college counselor Erica Snelson.

Elyse Luecke

Elyse Luecke

Dresses hang on a rack in the lobby of the Urban League of St. Louis. "It was just a really good bonding experience for a large group of girls and boys that maybe not would have necessarily gone shopping together." said college counselor Erica Snelson.

Elyse Luecke, Web Editor-in-Chief

Elyse Luecke
Prom dresses hang on a rack in the lobby of the Urban League of St. Louis. Hundreds of dresses, tuxedo jackets, and ties were donated from the Wedding Gallery and Joseph A. Bank.

On average, families spend up to nearly $1,000 on various prom expenses. This includes renting a tuxedo, buying a dress, shoes, a corsage, a boutonniere, hair, makeup, nails, formal photography, limos, dinner, hotels, and after party events. This puts a significant amount of stress on families who are financially struggling.

However, a group of about thirty seniors had the opportunity to pick out a dress or tuxedo jacket at no cost. The Urban League of St. Louis teamed up with the Wedding Gallery and Joseph A. Bank, donated hundreds of dresses, tuxedo jackets and ties initially for students in the St. Louis Public School system. The Urban League then contacted GCAA to see if students would be interested.

“The idea of having to shop and purchase attire for prom is stressful for not only students but families, a lot of our families don’t have the financial needs to do all of that; especially senior year when you have other dues. Graduations, announcements, caps and gowns, diplomas and fees… so this released a burden for a lot of families,” said college counselor Erica Snelson.

Not only did this experience relieve stress that students and families may feel during prom season due to financial hardships, but it also provided students with a sense of belonging and confidence.

“It was just a really good bonding experience for a large group of girls and boys that maybe not would have necessarily gone shopping together… to see the girls encourage and pick out dresses for each other, and talk about how beautiful they looked or how stylish they looked in the jackets and helped pick out different color ties, was just really awesome to see,” said Snelson.

Snelson also hopes that students realize what they were given and to appreciate it. She encourages students to also learn from this experience and to pay it forward in whatever means they can.

 

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