This piece was featured in the 2019 Community Impact Report.
“The theme for Oakland High School’s first prom is Under The Stars.
This is a big deal for students because it’s the first out-of-school special event where they get to dress up and have a traditional high school experience. We don’t have sports events, homecoming or pep assemblies at Oakland, which has taken away opportunity for students to get to know each other outside of class.
Since Oakland has kids from all over Pierce County, it is hard for them to get to know each other after the school day ends. We want our students to have the same opportunities as other high school students and to feel a sense of pride.
There has been a drastic change in how kids enter the classroom since launching this project. They are more motivated, excited, and organized than previous years because they have an end goal in mind and timelines to make this dream come true. We have a handful of students that have expressed interest in going into the party planning field just from this experience.
At Oakland, it is common for students to sit alone and isolate themselves from their peers during the school day and at lunch. Through this process, the students have grown more familiar with each other and acknowledge each other in passing, whereas before they would not. Students who were maybe a little shy have stepped up to the plate to take leadership roles, talk to business partners, make school-wide announcements and more. Students wrote and filmed a video in order to raise money for prom related expense and even hired an Oakland alum as the DJ.”