Students in Need Get to Be "Princesses" for Prom - NBC Southern California

Students in Need Get to Be "Princesses" for Prom

As many as 15,000 homeless or needy students are enrolled in LAUSD. On Thursday, dozens of them were given a unique opportunity.



    Hundreds of dresses, jewelry and heels were donated to 55 students in the Homeless Education Program in the Los Angeles Unified School District, helping them feel like "princesses" for prom. (Published Thursday, April 24, 2014)

    Donors decked out dozens of high school students from heels to handbags so they can celebrate the epitome of their high school career: the prom.

    "This is surreal to me that we’re here picking out a prom dress," said Jennifer Martinez, who picked out a flowing sea-foam green dress Thursday. "For this to be happening to someone who comes from where I come from -- it’s amazing."

    Girls from high schools all over Los Angeles twirled in flowing gowns, tried on sparkling rhinestone heels and had their makeup done in Hollywood Thursday, all on the LA Assistance League’s dime.

    Hundreds of dresses were donated to the event to benefit girls involved in the Homeless Education Program in LA Unified School District.

    "Every girl deserves to be a princess," said Linda Levine, co-chair of Operation School Bell -- the event in which LA students in need are adorned in everything they need for a glamorous night.

    "From head-to-toe, we get them ready with brand-new gowns, handbags, shoes, necklaces -- you name it," she said.

    Operation School Bell chooses students based on the fact that they are on track to graduate, despite facing financial hardships.

    Fifty-five students from 15 LAUSD schools were chosen to participate – a fraction of the nearly 15,000 homeless or needy students currently enrolled in LAUSD.

    "It’s hard for me to take," said Rosa Castilllo, a Lincoln High School student, who became emotional speaking about her participation in the exclusive group.

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