Special prom comes early for 30 local teenagers

A special event at Discovery Communications allowed 30 deserving high school girls an opportunity to get styled head-to-toe for their big day.

Shoes, accessories and 1,200 dresses were all donated and free for participants. To top it off, celebrity stylist Monte Durham from TLC’s, ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,' offered fashion advice.

“This day to me is like feeling like a princess,” said Paint Branch High School student Leslie Merino.

This is the third year Discovery Communications transformed its downtown Silver Spring headquarters into prom central, and the first year the program is going national. Company employees, serving as mentors, connected with the students ahead of the event, promoting the importance of a positive self-image.

“Not only are they getting prom perfection, they're getting confidence, said Durham.

The girls were selected by their schools for academic excellence in the classroom.

“…And these are girls, who may not have had the opportunity to shop for an amazing dress or to get the kind of care and attention as they think about prom or even go to prom,” said Adria Alpert Romm with Discovery Communications.

“Prom is special for everyone that goes, and it's something that you'll never forget for the rest of your life,” said high school senior Carly Nunez.

Dazzling in their dresses, these young women went through a quick makeover, but the experience will be lasting.