A group of suburban education activists is giving away free prom dresses and suits this Sunday, April 2, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Quinn Community Center, 1945 S. 9th Ave., Room 110, in west suburban Maywood.
The Best of Proviso Township Glam Squad, organized by Proviso East High School alum Rajeska Jackson, is looking to giveaway around 100 dresses and even a few suits for students to don during their big day. They’ll also provide hair-styling, hair cuts and nail technician services provided by local beauty experts.
Nail technician Marie Dennis, a Proviso East alum who lives in Berwyn, said that she was drawn to the cause because memories of her own high school proms.
“I know what it feels like to want and not have,” said Dennis, 49. “Peer pressure is at an all-time high and sometimes when you don’t have what others have you feel some type of way. I wanted to give students something they wanted without worrying about paying for it.”
Dennis said that Jackson’s passion, not only for this project but for the high schools generally, also influenced on her decision to help out.
“Rajeska is involved in a lot of things regarding the high schools, she’s really passionate about our schools,” Dennis said.
In order to receive the free dresses, suits and beauty services, students must be currently enrolled juniors or seniors. They must present a valid school ID or some other proof of enrollment.
In a recent interview, however, Jackson expanded the requirements, adding that “this event is not just for Proviso Township and it’s for any young lady or young man in need. You can also bring your 8th grade graduates as well.”
Jackson said the Glam Squad was the result of a vision she’s had for a long time that is finally bearing fruit.
“Helping youth is a passion and as long as they need help I’ll be an arm’s length away,” she said. “We as adults keep asking the question, ‘Where are their parents?’ What we need to understand is it’s not [the children’s] fault. Our youth need us.”
Jackson said that her group of fellow Proviso East, Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy alum — who hail from Atlanta, Phoenix, Arizona and throughout the Chicago area — have adopted several students from Proviso Township High Schools. The Glam Squad, she said, is one aspect of that larger outreach.
“I pray that this beyond our vision,” she said, before thanking Dennis. “When Marie came aboard, there was no stopping her. When she reached out, people spoke and they gave.”
Dennis said that she’d like to see the Glam Squad grow to the level of the Glass Slipper Project, a Chicago-based initiative founded in 1999 and that has helped more than 20,000 young people make their prom dreams come to life, according to the organization’s website.
Jackson gave special thanks to Kimyada Wellington, Daffany O’Neal, Gloria Harrison, Sonja McCoy, Kate Nolan, Randall McFarland and Sgt. Erika Luster for making the Glam Squad possible.
See the flyer below for more details about the event. You can also click here, call Rajeska Jackson at (708) 397-6604, Marie Dennis at (708) 299-3861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.