Two teens model their dresses for prom. (Photos courtesy of Family Matters of Greater Washington)

Family Matters of Greater Washington made magic happen as they set up a prom boutique for young teens in the  D.C. area offering free prom dresses, makeovers, and spa care for families in need.  On April 15, young ladies rushed in the boutique, set up at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Northwest to try on dresses, shoes and jewelry for prom.

“This is a blessing.  I’m happy that my mother and I found out about this opportunity,” said Monika Edwards, a senior at Perry StreetPrep Charter School.  “Everyone is not fortunate enough to be able to afford to go to prom.  Now I can participate because Family Matters of Greater Washington cared.”

According to Massada Johnson, Family Matters’ program manager, seeing the exact moment that the teens found their perfect dresses was an unforgettable highlight.

A teen gets her makeup done while trying on a dress for her special day. (Photos courtesy of Family Matters of Greater Washington)

“We wanted those moments today where young ladies say, ‘this is the one…this is the dress for me!’  That’s what made it all worthwhile for us,” Johnson said.  “Low income families should not be cut off from having experiences that make life richer.  The senior prom is like a rite of passage in high school–a memory created as you move to the next phase of life.  Many of us remember our proms and the impact it had on our lives.”

Johnson added, “Building confidence was the goal of the Prom Boutique this year. We want these young ladies to walk away today feeling confident and knowing that they are beautiful!  It is important that our children experience things that build their confidence and know that the community cares.  So many young ladies struggle with their self-esteem, and we want to help end the struggle.”

According to their website, Family Matters of Greater Washington (FMGW) is one of the oldest nationally accredited social service organizations in the Washington metropolitan area.  FMGW provides assistance that impacts more than 12,000 children, youth, families and seniors each year.  Their programs include therapeutic and traditional foster care, youth development programs, mental health/counseling services, and services and activities for seniors.