For a young woman in high school, there's no bigger social event than homecoming or prom. For their senior seminar class project, some UM-Flint Communication students of Tony McGill assisted an organization that provides young women who may not otherwise have been able to afford one, a free formal dress for such special occasions.
During a two week period in October, the students got the word out that they were collecting the dresses and set up collection locations where dresses could be donated. Apparently, their timing was right on. Many of the people they reached were wondering what to do with the old prom dress hanging in their closet. When the counting was complete, they had more than 70 dresses donated.
The students, Ashley Minaudo, Aleesha Mathis, Brittney Ogle, and Paulina Tylus, recently took the dresses to a small shop at 940 S. Grand Traverse in Flint called My Dreams Do Come True. Shop Owner, Walethia Aquil, distributes the dresses to high school girls from throughout Genesee County and the Tri-Cities area.
"It is very exciting to see young people get involved and make an effort to give back to the community. If more young people were engaged in this type of activity we would solve many of our problems," said Aquil. "This type of program really speaks to the integrity of the university."
All of the students involved in the project say they felt honored to able to help others.
"It feels great to give back to the community in order to give young girls the same opportunity that we had to enjoy high school events," recalled Minaudo.
"The hard work and dedication of these students was heartwarming. They accomplished this required civic Engagement project outside of COM 426, Senior Seminar for the Professional Communication emphasis area," said McGill. "I am proud of each one of them. They demonstrated the best of what our communication majors are trained to do."
McGill included that it was a pleasure working with Aquil and Mary Black, the civic engagement coordinator from the Office of University Outreach.