Boutique helping high school students afford prom - FOX 32 News Chicago

Boutique helping high school students afford prom

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Tinley Park High School library looks more like the back stage of a Seventeen Magazine photo shoot - it's the prom boutique, already a success before it's opened its doors.

"Sometimes it's finances that keep people from going to prom," said Jenn Karajeh, a senior.

"Being a teenager, you don't get a lot of money, like a full-time job...you can't really afford prom with a minimum wage job that you don't even work all the time," said Melissa Marban, a junior.

"Being able to get a great dress that you like at an inexpensive rate is a great thing," said Jamese Murry, a junior.

Just think about it. The costs for one of the most memorable and treasured nights have skyrocketed.

"Some of the dresses we have, they're $200 but they still have tags on them that say $550 and then you still have to get jewelry and you have to get bags and apparently there's a lot of accessories, I'm finding out that go along with this as we start to collect all these dresses from different neighborhoods in the area," said Mike Boniface, a Special Education Teacher at Tinley Park High School.

With that in mind, Boniface is just one-third of the driving force behind Tinley Park High School's prom boutique prompting droves of alumni to drop off gently-used gowns.

"We've had a couple of students say they didn't think they'd be able to go to prom and now they're going to have the chance to do it," said Boniface.

The gowns are available for sale 4:00pm-8:00pm on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday for as low as $5 a dress.

It's a deal for lots of students.

"And yet they're still like gorgeous, they're not like old or out of style, like new ones, that people gave," said Marban.

The topic is trending heavily on Tinley Park High School's Facebook page.

"Everybody is supporting it. It's really good and they're actually really excited," said Marban.

"This is a great opportunity to purchase dresses for cheaper and help our school out and our community," said Karajeh.

For the fiscally savvy it's a lesson on finance beyond the classroom.

"I hope it's a lesson for both the students and the parents that you can still look beautiful, have that dress of your dreams but still be financially savvy and save a few dollars and still look great the night of the prom," said Principal Theresa Nolan who is also an alumnus of Tinley Park High School.

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