40 Homeless Students in Chicago Get First-Ever Prom

About 40 homeless students in Chicago got something Saturday many of them thought would never come — a chance to attend prom.

Jalisa Thurston was one of those students.

“This prom is amazing because I didn’t ever go to prom,” she told ABC News.

Thurston, 23, who is set to return to school later this year, said she never attended her high school prom after being kicked out of school for “some bad choices” and a subsequent pregnancy.

On Saturday, she got a chance to wear a donated off-white two-piece evening gown thanks to a prom, held by two local non-profits Teen Living Programs Chicago, which serves homeless youth ages 14-24, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Heart, which centers on girls and teens around the world. It was the first time the prom was held for the organizations.

“I feel like I’m getting married,” Thurston said. “I’m glad I met [TLP Chicago] because they’re wonderful.”

The room where the prom was held on the lower level of Life Center Church of God in Christ in Chicago was decorated in navy blue and white. Along with a candy table, there was also a cake and cupcake stand. A prom queen and king were crowned — after getting recommendations from the students’ social workers — and some students even performed.

Michael Brown was one of the evening’s performers. He rapped and sang.

“The day is really nice! The energy is really nice in the room. The ambiance is beautiful,” he told ABC News during the event. “It’s a night to remember.”


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