High schools students and parents to host their own proms after COVID-19 causes abnormal school year

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
save the prom
Credit: WINK News

A group is trying to bring this past abnormal school year to an end that’s as normal as possible. From masks to canceled events to socially distanced sports and clubs.

This school year has been anything but easy for students. So, to help with the stress the year could have caused, one school’s parents and another school’s students are planning a prom.

Senior year at Gulf Coast high school was nothing like the movies or students’ expectations.

Lilly Ackerman is a Gulf Coast senior. “Knowing that your senior year was not going to be normal was also kind of upsetting,” Ackerman said.

Collin Roy is another senior. “It has been a little bit of a letdown not being able to go and support our fellow athletes,” Roy said.

Jade Van Wagner is also a senior at Gulf Coast. “It was just sad that you know we didn’t get a normal senior year and we’re kind of like constantly hoping and waiting for it to be normal again,” Van Wagner said.

So, normal moments like hanging out with friends and bonding with teammates became even more special.

In two weeks, after much hard work and fundraising, 260 Gulf Coast students will get to enjoy a senior year staple.

Trace Davison is one of those seniors. “Now, we are actually going to be able to come together as a senior class and as members of the community and we’re actually going to have our own senior prom, ” Davidson said.

These students aren’t the only ones planning something special. Christine Gideons and Kim Blocker are moms and they’re planning a prom for about 250 Palmetto Ridge High School juniors and seniors.

“The kids are never going to get this back and we know that just from graduating high school that you always look back at their prom,”  Blocker said.

Prom marks the end of, what these seniors say, ended up being a tough yet memorable year.

“We definitely made the most of every situation that has come our way we’ve gone through adversity and all the sticky situations,” said Davidson.

“I definitely think that when I look back on this year at all, I’ll be happy for what we made of it,” said Ackerman.

They’re happy to move onto the next phases of their lives without the regret and “what-if” of not having their prom.

There are no school-sponsored proms in Collier County Public Schools this year. Instead, schools will be holding “senior celebration” events.

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