Sunday, March 4, 2012

Joy Prom

This past week I had the privilege of volunteering at Wofford's Joy Prom, put on by a wonderful classmate of mine as a project for her scholarship program. If you've never heard of the concept of Joy Prom, check out the link. It's about the first Joy Prom, held in Charlotte NC as a church initiative.

Callie decided to take this idea and bring it to the Wofford community as a way to really reach out to the special needs students of Spartanburg... and wow, did she do a great job. Basically, Joy Prom is a prom, a big night out, for special needs students of high school (and slightly older) age.

These students are treated like royalty on the big night. Each student is matched up with an Wofford escort for the prom, who caters to their every need as they take pictures, eat yummy food, and dance the night away. Boys wear tuxes and girls wear sparkly, fun, dresses.

I unfortunately was unable to commit to being a date, but I did serve as a member of the paparazzi who took pictures of the students and their Wofford dates as they strutted down the red carpet on their way to the party. For a lot of these kids, this is the highlight of their year. The only time they are in the spotlight, and it is all about them. Even before the students arrive at the prom, girls are pampered by getting their hair and makeup done, and boys get a complimentary shoe shine! Here are a few pictures of some of my friends and their dates on the red carpet:

After my duty as photographer was over, I wandered inside to watch all the fun. A Wofford student with some DJ-ing talents blasted Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and other fun beats as all attendees laughed, sang, jumped around, and smiled. I cannot even describe to you all how full my heart was, watching all these kids have the time of their lives. There was so much love in that room, and seeing their faces light up was a wonderful reminder that these kids really aren't much different than we are. I strongly encourage you to watch this video that is the news report on the event- it really gives you a sense of how wonderful the night was.

What a wonderful reminder not only count your blessings, but be joyful in all circumstances!

xoxo, ryann


  1. That is such an awesome and inspiring idea! What a great event!

  2. This is so great! Maybe it'll branch out to other communities and states. I hope so! How inspiring. :)

  3. What a FABULOUS thing to do. Seriously, its things like this that give me hope in the human race! So inspiring, I hope you had an amazing time!

  4. So glad you were able to experience Joy Prom! I also was a Paparazzi for Joy Prom (in a different town) and it honestly was the best day of my life.