By AWNYA GREENFIELD, CHRISTINA RICHARDSON and JADE KING
Once upon a time, a teenage mother dreamed of going to her high school prom. But at sixteen years old — with a child to support — she knew that working, both at school and at her jobs, was the only way to provide the type of future she wanted for her new family. The dance simply wasn’t a priority.
But then, an act of kindness made her dream come true. Someone donated the things she would need to make prom a reality — right down to the dress. It was a real-life Cinderella story.
Delavisha Harris Faison never forgot the “glamour” of that prom or how it made her feel. So when, long after graduating from Goldsboro High School, she found her own success and was in a position to pay that act of kindness forward, she did just that. And hundreds of dresses later, she still does. In all of these storybook-like moments, she was now the fairy godmother.
Delavisha created “Project Prom” to ensure no teenager misses out on a memory because they can’t afford a dress, shoes, or ticket. And this year, the ninth in a row it has done so, her organization made prom possible for many of the young women who will attend tonight’s GHS Prom.
When asked about a specific moment that made her emotional — a particular girl’s story that touched her heart — she said, “it’s every time.”
“It makes me feel proud to see their smiles,” she told the Pride. “Reminds me of when I was sixteen.”
And it reminds her that sometimes, all it takes is a little help to remind a young person that they have value — a feeling she knows firsthand can propel them toward a future of success.
“I’ve had (girls I have given dresses to become) lawyers and business women,” she said.
And when their paths have crossed later in life, they’ve never forgotten “Aunt Visha” and how she made them feel once upon a time.
(Editor’s note: This story will be updated and extended, but in the interest of getting it up before the GHS Prom, we have published an abridged version of the piece.)