TLC’s SAY YES TO THE PROM initiative is back, and is kicking off prom season alongside its first-ever premier retail partner Macy’s to make prom dreams come true for nearly 1,000 underserved and academically high-achieving students across the country this year.
In addition to gifting students with their perfect prom look and one-on-one style sessions with TLC’s Monte Durham and fashion icon Betsey Johnson, the program will use the milestone occasion to empower and motivate participants with mentorship, scholarship, and internship opportunities as they prepare for their next journey: college and careers.
SAY YES TO THE PROM will make stops in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Chicago, and Silver Spring, Md. from January through April 2017 with a series of all-day runway and “shopping” events offering students makeovers, mentorship and more. A new, 90-minute SAY YES TO THE PROM special following five students from this year’s Los Angeles event will premiere on TLC on Saturday, April 1, followed by an encore on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Monday, April 3. An all-new line of SAY YES TO THE PROM dresses and accessories will further extend the reach of the program, hitting Macy’s stores nationwide in February.
Designed to go beyond the dress and tuxedo to prepare students for college and careers, this year’s SAY YES TO THE PROM will feature scholarship, internship and mentorship opportunities as part of educational and youth workforce partnerships with The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation’s Careers in Entertainment initiative, The Emma Bowen Foundation, Miami Dade College, and New York City’s Center for Youth Employment in partnership with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development’s Ladders for Leaders program. Students at each event also will be paired with professional mentors from the fashion and media industries. These mentor-mentee relationships will extend beyond the event and offer students an ongoing connection to the professional world.
“Six short years ago, Discovery Communications created TLC’s SAY YES TO THE PROM as a local dress donation drive and event at our global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. Since then, the program has transformed into a nationwide initiative with an impactful and unique mission – one that goes beyond the dress and prom to empower and motivate this generation of passionate, curious, future leaders and change makers with professional mentors and educational tools and resources to help them succeed as they look towards college and careers,” said Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources and Global Diversity Officer, Discovery Communications, and creator of SAY YES TO THE PROM. “This program is a continuation of Discovery’s purpose-driven mission and a testament to the enormous impact that socially conscious companies across this country can make by working together.”
SAY YES TO THE PROM will offer young women in each location an opportunity to select from a dazzling array of more than 2,500 donated Macy’s dresses and accessories as well as bags and shoes, while participating young men will be outfitted with tuxedo rentals and accessories from Men’s Wearhouse.
Runway events in New York and Los Angeles will treat students to custom tailoring services and full hair and makeup, as well as one-on-one style sessions with Monte Durham and fashion icon Betsey Johnson, who also has donated purses, shoes and accessories from the Blue by Betsey Johnson collection, the perfect companion for all special occasion activities from day to night to the dance floor and beyond. A red-carpet reveal show will wrap up each of these runway events, giving participants the chance to shine in the spotlight and show off their new prom-ready looks. In Miami, Chicago, and Silver Spring, a special shopping-only day with Monte will extend the reach and impact of the program, welcoming larger groups of students for a day of mentorship, as well as dress, tuxedo, accessory and shoe “shopping.”
The program will welcome both new and returning national partners in 2017. In addition to Macy’s and Betsey Johnson, SAY YES TO THE PROM will be more impactful than ever before as a result of contributions from premier partners including tuxedos from Men’s Wearhouse, hair and makeup services provided by Paul Mitchell Schools and new hair collection Paul Mitchell NEON, evening bags by Jessica McClintock, hands-free purses from Girly Go Garter, and onsite tailoring from George Worrell Style. AT&T® will again join the initiative this year as an exclusive industry partner whose employee volunteers will serve as mentors and style guides in each of the five cities.
Dates and locations for the 2017 SAY YES TO THE PROM tour include:
• January 25 in Los Angeles, Calif.
• February 28 in Miami, Fla.
• March 21 in New York City, N.Y.
• April 4 in Chicago, Ill.
• April 20 in Silver Spring, Md.
TLC and premier editorial partner Seventeen Magazine have teamed up ahead of this year’s initiative to host a contest, open until February 14, 2017, that will bring one lucky winner to SAY YES TO THE PROM’s NYC event.
For up to date information on this year’s initiative, information on how you can get involved alongside the program’s philanthropic partner Becca’s Closet, as well as photos and videos, please visit [www.tlc.com/sayyestotheprom and follow #SYTTP on Twitter and Instagram.