Updated: Mar 5, 2020
By Kayla Garner, Staff Writer
Hardin-Simmons University’s Social Work Club is hosting a prom party for female foster youth in high school who live within the CPS Region II and are active with CPS’s Preparation for Adult Living program. This party will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The party is organized every year by the Social Work Club faculty sponsor and officers. The faculty sponsor is Melissa Milliorn, professor of social work, and the president of the club is Amanda Ramsey.
The party is funded by the HSU Social Work Club, the HSU Social Work Department, Junior League of Abilene and other donations from a variety of HSU departments and local community partners.
There are multiple volunteers who help make this special event possible. This includes approximately 15 social work students, Debbie Jones and team members from the Six White Horses, Junior League volunteers, the Social Work Club and Cassie Mattern, HSU events coordinator.
Each young lady attending the party will be paired with a social work student from HSU who will serve as a mentor and friend throughout the day. During the prom party, the girls will have the opportunity to pick out a prom dress, choose accessories, get their hair, makeup and nails done by the Junior League of Abilene, have lunch and participate in a photoshoot with the Six White Horses.
Milliorn and Ramsey explained why the HSU Social Work Club Prom Party is so important for the young ladies who attend the event.
“The prom party is an opportunity for the foster youth in attendance to have a day designed just for them. A day where they are made to feel special and can hopefully forget about the stressors of their day to day life in foster care. The hope is that these young girls will see themselves as capable and worthy of a positive future, that higher education is an option for them. … [We want them] to dream big and look beyond their current circumstances; to have hope, to know they are seen and heard, that people really do care and they are loved,” Milliorn said.
“I think that this party first allows the girls to participate with their peers at prom. It is so important for these girls to have the same opportunities and fun as their peers. Second, it shows that they are important and valuable. We focus the day on them so they come away knowing that they are worth it.” Ramsey said.