After spending five years with your classmates, the type of bonds formed are almost unforgettable. For this reason, graduation night has become so important and special. It is a time when secondary school students get a window to learn to how to be adults. For all the fun it entails, it can be described as a learning experience and the attendees are the unwitting students. Learning how to behave in a formal setting, using good manners, acting like ladies and gentlemen, are just a few of the lessons they learn without even knowing it. There are lovely clothes, a nice dinner and understanding the cost your parents are willing to pay for you to have a great experience with your friends on this special night. Many of us reminisce on our own graduation night, the excitement to get your hair and makeup done, picking out the perfect dress and of course showing up with your date at a formal event for this first time ever. Imagine, such a milestone and celebratory night isn’t experienced by many because they’re forced to make a choice between getting money to pay for an extravagant night or using the same money from their parents for ‘far more important’ expenses at the time. It’s no secret that this is an expensive experience but won’t it be amazing for all high schoolers to be granted the chance to feel like royalty for a night?
This is exactly what the Royalty for a night charitable project managed by the NGO, Yes She Can, works towards. It’s is a project that collects gently worn or new, formal wear and distributes to graduating secondary school students who are in need of this support, to afford them the opportunity to attend their graduation ball. This project is in its 3rd year and over this period, has served hundreds of male and female graduates. In addition to the formal wear, they also provide opportunities for students to be exposed to various life skill sessions which are facilitated on distribution day. This year our life skills sessions include, ‘Emotional Intelligence’ facilitated by Yohance Ayodike a Behaviour Change Consultant as well as “The Best Me” facilitated by Gail Elder-Cummings of The Etiquette Foundation TT.
Now that the donation period has ended for the project, there are still ways you can be a part.
- If you are a hairdresser, barber, makeup artist or nail technician, donate your time and talent.
- If you are a teacher, share this venture with parents and let the project facilitators know of any student who needs help
- Volunteer on distribution day, a lot of help is needed, from setting up to breaking down and everything in between.
What is the process for students on distribution day?
Royalty for a Night is open to ALL forms 5 and 6, secondary school graduates. On June 8th and 9th at Gulf City Community Centre, San Fernando, students are required to present a copy of their examination timetable, upon arrival as proof that they are a 2019 graduate. Students will be ushered into the display area in small groups and given an opportunity to select from the racks of garments. They will also be given a chance to select matching accessories and shoes from what is available. There will be scheduled life skills sessions that students will also have access to before and after they have selected their garments. Students are not required to return any of the garments or the accessories instead, students are being encouraged to ‘pay it forward’ when they are in a position to do so.