Updated: May 18
In "normal" times, Jefferson High School would host a dinner for their students before prom. This tradition has taken place for the last eleven years, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, it wasn't a possibility this year. With 76% of Jefferson students qualifying for free-or-reduced lunch, Assistant Superintendent, Anthony Asmus, reached out to the Success Foundation in hopes we'd be able to help create a meaningful prom experience for Jefferson students in the midst of the pandemic. What initially seemed to be a daunting task quickly turned into a large community effort that supported meals, dresses and accessories, and hair and makeup.
Success Foundation Executive Director, Julie Hill, immediately got to work reaching out to local restaurants to see what kind of partnerships we could develop. "I didn't feel right asking restaurants to donate meals with the negative impact they've experienced due to COVID. We were able to work out a deal where participating restaurants offered meals at cost and the Success Foundation took care of those costs, plus gratuity using our Opportunity Fund." Hill was able to involve seven restaurants that hosted 10-15 students each for a pre-prom dinner. This allowed students to enjoy a dining experience that otherwise would not have been possible.
We were then introduced to Connie Sacco, a former Greeley resident, who invited Jefferson students to "Aubrey's Closet," a space that houses formal dresses and accessories for students in need. Aubrey's Closet was created in honor of Connie's daughter who is a graduate of Greeley Central. Aubrey went missing while trekking in Nepal in 2010. Sacco wanted to do something with her daughter's dresses which is why she chose to start the organization. Now, she has over 200 dresses, shoes, and accessories ready to donate. Jefferson students were able to take advantage of Sacco's generosity, some of them picking out dresses for the very first time.
In addition to dining and dresses, the Success Foundation worked with IBMC's cosmetology program to offer a Prom Salon. Students were given the opportunity to have hair, makeup, and nails done, and barbering services were also offered. IBMC chose to do this as their community service project with their students and staff volunteering their time. Students attended appointments all day and were excited to get dressed up and styled for prom.
The Greeley and Evans communities never fail to come together and support our students. We are so grateful for your consistent support. The partnerships established during this effort helped create amazing memories for Jefferson students. Thank you to all!