Evening of Dreams is more than just a prom, it is place where communities come together and the lives of everyone who is involved are changed. This is exactly what happened when Oak Ridge High School, specifically their athletic program, decided to get involved with Evening of Dreams. It all started with one woman who heard about the prom from her daughter and then she took it to her son’s football coach and the rest is history!
Last year we had 120 students from Oak Ridge come and volunteer at Evening of Dreams and I think it’s safe to say that they were impacted by the night just as much as our guests were. Today we had the chance to talk to a few of our escorts from last year and hear about how the night was to them.
Yasmin is a cheerleader at ORHS and she has a special connection to Evening of Dreams because she has a sister, Yesenia, who is autistic. Yasmin says she loves music, soda, and the Old Spaghetti Factory just like everyone else, the only difference is that Yesenia likes to stick to what she knows – a schedule. Sometimes when Yesenia’s schedule gets out of order Yasmin has to change her plans to help her parents out, but she’s always willing to do so. Yasmin loves her sister and when we asked her if Evening of Dreams helped to raise awareness of autism to the students at ORHS she said, “I know one of my friends who came didn’t know anything about special needs, but now she has a heart for them- just because she spent time with them.” Yasmin is definitely going to be helping with Evening of Dreams in the future and if anyone is worried about volunteering she wants you to know, “Any way you’re involved, whether being a server or an escort, as long as you’re talking with the kids, it’s totally worth it!”
Trent, a senior and captain of the football team, said that it is one of the first things that ORHS Football does together as a team. “I really think that it strengthened us for our season because it helped to create unity within the team and gave us the chance to help people too.” Trent will be going on to the University of Pennsylvania in the Fall but is still planning on attending Evening of Dreams again this year! When we asked Trent how he felt about the football team being involved in something like this he said, “We are leaders and need to help out in our community and this gives us an opportunity to see how blessed we are to even be able to play the sports that we do.” Trent’s football coach, Coach Cavaliere, even wrote about Evening of Dreams in the school’s football program, (view the article below).
Thank you so much Oak Ridge for all that you have done to be a part of Evening of Dreams over the last few years! We always love having you and look forward to many more years in the future!