On June 9th, we had the opportunity to host a high school prom for MERIT Academy. It was a very special event because this is not a typical high school. MERIT Academy provides Special Education students with a high degree of social, emotional, and behavioral support and structure throughout each school day. Their self-contained day program specializes in the academic, social, and emotional needs of students, and most of their students have never gone to a school dance or function like the ones other public high schools hold every year.
With a little help from the Museum’s friends and partners, we hosted an unforgettable night for these high schoolers. Personal Touch Dining provided delicious treats, JK Expressions created incredible caricature portraits for the guests to take home, SOS Entertainment kept the music going all night long and A Little Scene Flipbook and Mobile Photobooth documented the event so the students could look back on these memories forever. Thank you to all our generous sponsors, without whom this event wouldn’t have been possible!
After the event, the students of MERIT Academy gathered together to reflect what this prom meant to them. They shared their thoughts and insights with us…
“Prom is important to me because students on alternative sites usually don’t have the opportunity to attend prom on a large scale. Also, I often don’t frequent large events because of my social anxiety, but I’m using this as a chance to step out of my comfort zone. This is a double opportunity for me to experience a normal high school event and to open myself up to a situation I wouldn’t otherwise.”– Cierra
“When you think about prom at Merit, it’s like a dream come true for students. It’s an event that everyone looks forward to. It’s important to us because finally we get to do something every other high school has the opportunity to do. We get dressed up in our dresses and tuxedos, do our hair and makeup, and wear heels.
We get to feel like normal teenagers.”-Maria
“Prom is important to me because kids who are at the bottom of the social ladder and are never noticed finally get the chance to be out and socialize. It’s a great experience for high school kids to be with friends and have a good time. Most of us have never been to a dance at a larger high school like a regular prom and it would be great to have one. Prom is an important role in high school for everyone.”
“Hello, my name is Mat. Before I begin I would like to greatly thank you for supporting our school with your services. This prom will mean the world to me because it will allow myself and my fellow peers, which I’ve spent the past three years with to undergo an experience, that most alternative sites would normally be unable to assemble for students. “- Mat
Our mission is to stimulate imagination and creativity in children in a safe and comfortable environment. Through partnerships with schools and social service organizations, we strive to make impactful and lasting memories for children (and adults) of all ages.
This event was very special to us and we were happy to be part of it. This is one of the many ways we connect with the San Diego community – and would welcome organizations and individuals who would like to work with us to make more memories like the one above. Please contact our Education team about participating in (or sponsoring) group visits or camps, our Events team about hosting a wedding, prom or corporate event, our Development team to see how you (or our organization) can be a part of funding our various programs or contact our Marketing team with any other questions.