MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Its prom season, meaning many teenagers will be dressing up to dance the night away. But one local high school is using a crowd funding campaign to send their students to the annual tradition.
Menlo Park Academy in northeast Minneapolis is an alternative high school that gives social and emotional support to at-risk students who don’t do well in a traditional classroom.
Its 75 students don’t have extracurricular activities like sports teams or homecoming, so last year staff decided to give the one dance they do have a face-lift.
“A lot of our students feel they don't get the real high school experience, so we go all out for prom," Menlo Park Academy staffer Marjaan Sirdar said. "It’s a special event. We do it on a riverboat which not a lot of high schools do. This is one event students can talk about after they graduate."
But, many of the students can’t afford to spend $30-$40 on a prom ticket and buy a dress or rent a tux on top of that.
So staff created a crowd funding campaign including a video to raise $3000 so students can go to the prom for $5.
This year’s theme is Prince.
“The planning of prom started when Prince died so we were kind of jamming out in classes," Sirdar said. "Just came up with this idea to use Prince music in video and the idea of Purple Prom to honor Prince but also to educate some of our kids about Prince. Some of them barely know who he is."
Senior Mariella Dolan didn’t grow up listening to Prince, but she likes some of his songs.
Who knows? She may even find a certain colored dress to wear to her purple prom.
“We’re going to have fun. Celebrate how Minnesotans do and Prince did. I’m just really excited. It’ll be a blast and hopefully everybody can go”, Dolan said.
Menlo Park’s prom will be on Saturday, May 14.
If you'd like to donate, visit crowdrise.com/help-send-our-students-to-purple-prom