Written by Cesca Janece Waterfield. Photographs by Steven McCarther of The McCarther Image.
In high schools and communities everywhere, Prom is a symbol of youth and romance; a transition into greater maturity. Just before buckling down to meet the rigor of final exams, Prom is a chance to enjoy elegance and fun.
But last spring Salena Johnson watched the day approach with growing dread. “I was worrying about school and graduating, and trying not to worry about Prom,” Salena says. “Because it’s the last Prom, you just want everything to be perfect.”
Then a senior at Monacan High, Salena was preparing for college in a few months, and money was very tight. She had no idea how she was going to buy a dress.
Along came Promisses, a non-profit organization that collects new and gently-used formal gowns for young women who cannot afford to attend their high school proms.