Prom initiative removes fiscal obstacles for deserving teens to attend big dance

Ashante Hamilton wins initiative to help deserving teens attend their prom

SAVANNAH (WSAV) – Some small business owners in Savannah have teamed up to make a deserving teenager’s dream come true. 2017 marks the fourth year of their “Take Me To Prom Initiative.” The contest features nominations from the community for teens who might not otherwise go to the big dance. The winners get everything they need to make prom memories that will last a lifetime. The initiative is the brainchild of Kay Cantrell, owner of Let It Blow Blow Dry Bar. “I can remember, being the child of divorce, the financial struggle with getting what I needed for my prom. I wanted to help some teens overcome that obstacle.” said Cantrell.

This year’s winner, Ashante Hamilton, a junior at Savannah High, was surprised with her selection for the prom prize package. Hamilton was nominated by her aunt, Monica Simpson. “She didn’t have such a great, um early education, but something turned her around and she’s making straight A’s.” said Simpson. The winning nomination is putting a smile on Ashante’s mom’s face, as stress over prom expenses has been alleviated. “It’s a lot and that took, takes a whole lot off my shoulders and she deserve it.” said Marquea Folston of her daughter’s prize package, which includes a one of a kind prom dress. “So she’ll get to design her dress from scratch, we’ll, she’ll pick her material, her style and the designer will actually bring that vision to life.” said Cantrell.

The Jasee’O Design Company will create Hamilton’s dress. Owner Stephanie Lark says she looks forward to helping Hamilton realize her vision of a dream dress for prom. “That really made me smile to be able to help somebody be able to go to the prom on a big, big day for them.” said Lark. It’s a celebration of the big change Hamilton made in her life by focusing on her education. Hamilton, who was failing as a sophomore and now has worked hard and will achieve early graduation, says deciding to make education a priority has put her on the path to college. “I just knew that I could do it, so i just, I started staying after school and tried to stop getting in trouble and stuff so I could focus on graduating early.” said Hamilton, who plans to major in pre-law or psychology.

The full prom prize package includes a custom dress, hair, make-up, accessories, chauffeured transportation, flowers, a photographer and more. Hamilton says prom is May 6, the same day she’s set to take her SAT. Hamilton hopes to have the time of her life.

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