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Young Women's Leadership School students find their dream dress as part of Project Prom at Temple Emanu-El in New York.

Young Women's Leadership School students find their dream dress as part of Project Prom at Temple Emanu-El in New York.


UPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — High school students from disadvantaged neighborhoods were treated to a boutique shopping experience on Wednesday.

Temple Emanu-El held its 11th annual Project Prom Drive, allowing students to choose dresses and other accessories for the prom.

It's a moment Luna Abreu has been looking forward to for years.

“I've always wanted something like a corset. I just think it's so beautiful. I don't think there's one like this,” Abreu said.

Abreu and dozens of other Young Women's Leadership School classmates found the dress of their dreams Wednesday.

“I put on the dress, I put on heels and it’s very pretty, I felt elegant,” Aiyana German said.

A space inside Temple Emanu-El has been transformed into a boutique with shelves of dresses of all sizes, shoes, bags and accessories, all for free.

“It’s amazing, I really didn’t know if I could afford my dress, if my mom could afford it for me and now look, it’s so incredible,” Abreu said.

Now in its 12th year, Project Prom is able to offer a selection of 3,000 dresses for over 365 girls in 21 different schools. Everything in the room is brand new and generously donated by community vendors.

“Schools will target girls who otherwise might not be able to afford to go to prom, so we work with guidance counselors, college preps or others, to make sure that every girl in need receives a beautiful, complete prom ensemble,” said Susan Kuafman, chairwoman of the Tikkun Olam committee.

This event is organized by the temple's Tikkun Olam Committee, a group dedicated to helping improve the lives of others.

“I think it's also important that this takes place in a synagogue and that it's something that we do for our community and that there are girls of all nationalities, ethnicities and religions,” Dana Covey said , temple volunteer. “And it's a way for us first and foremost. We're all New Yorkers and we're a community… it's something we do for everyone.”


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