Maria Ocegueda comes from a family of six.  She says her father mows lawns for a living and makes little money. “My dad can barely pay the bills. I knew I couldn’t ask for a new dress,” says the 18-year-old. Getting a free prom dress not only helps me, but also other girls who can’t afford to pay.”

Maria’s reality, like that of other program participants, is far different from the one portrayed in a recent Visa prom study, which showed that American families will spend more than $1,000 on prom on average, despite a still sluggish economy. That cost of $1,078—and almost twice that in the Northeast—is a 33.6% increase over the $807 spent in 2011. The study revealed that families with less income tend to spend the most, with those making less than $20,000 a year spending an average of $1,200 and those earning between $20,000 and $29,999 spending of $2,635. By comparison, those making more than $75,000 a year planned to spend an average of $842.

4 replies
  1. Dr. Tanginika Cuascud
    Dr. Tanginika Cuascud says:

    Great job, Cindy!!! I am so proud of you for this initiative! I donated all my dresses a few years ago for our LIP students because I know how important it is to enjoy the prom night. The prom is a night that will never come back and it symbolizes the culmination of an important part of a person’s life and education. No girl should have to choose not to go to her prom because she lacks a dress. Gracias, Rebecca, for writing about this great initiative!

  2. Joan Joplin Davis
    Joan Joplin Davis says:

    This was a great article! Wanting to donate a dress to this amazing cause! Thanks Rebecca for a wonderful article! Please let me know how I can donate for this year!


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