Congratulations to the 2022 After-Prom and Graduation Grant Winners! This year Herren Project received an overwhelming number of applications from deserving schools across the country. As an organization, we are inspired by all of the ways volunteers have created safe, substance-free events for the youth in their communities. Thank you to all the schools who submitted applications!
River View High School
Rockland County, NY
$2,000 Grant Award
The theme for River View High School’s prom and after-prom is “A Night to Remember.” This theme is focused on building self-esteem and self-confidence through an inclusive environment. All students in 9th to 12th grade are encouraged to attend as they feel most comfortable. The after-prom will occur at the same venue (Town and Country in Rockland County) as the prom so that there is not a need for transportation. Activities will include music, a poetry slam, carnival games, a photo booth, and food truck. The following day, students will go to the Splash Down Water Park located in the area. The theme and activities are organized by a prom and after-prom committee that includes administrators, teachers, clinicians, and students.
River View High School students come from school districts from all over the Hudson Valley in New York because they have been identified as needing an alternative educational environment with intensive therapeutic and social/emotional supports to help students succeed both in and out of the classroom. High academic standards, enrichment activities, and supportive services in a low student to teacher ratio allow students to feel welcome and respected. The after-prom is important because having our students attend a supervised, age appropriate event that focuses on boosting self-esteem, self-confidence, and community where they can feel beautiful, have fun, and safely socialize with their peers. For many, this is a chance for them to experience a typical high school event in a safe space.
New Milford High School
New Milford, CT
$1,000 Grant Award
The New Milford High School Grad Party hosts an all-night substance-free party, started in the 90’s in the wake of a tragic fatal car accident that occurred on the night of graduation. Board members fundraise year-round to be able to make this a free event for all our seniors. The grads arrive at 9:00 p.m. and are with us until 5:00 a.m. Fun fact, they do not allow cell phones at the party. They find that the kids are more engaged and living in the moment without having their phones attached to them. They are free to be silly without having to worry that videos or pictures may be posted. Volunteers decorate 30 different areas and have games at each one. The grads earn Grad Party money for participating and redeem their money for raffle tickets. They have an entire classroom of amazing prizes that they can enter to win. Food and beverages are provided during the duration of the party. The food selection is constantly changing, and they are welcome to as much as they would like. From 3:00am – 4:00am the students watch a comedy hypnotist perform which is always a big highlight. After his show, breakfast is available and prizes are awarded. It truly is an amazing night. A safe, substance-free event that is inclusive of the entire class (approximately 300 this year) and at no cost to the students.
King Philip Regional High School
$500 Grant Award
For approximately 30 years the King Philip High School Parent Network has sponsored an all-night party following graduation with the goal to keep our students and community safe on the night of graduation by providing a substance-free safe and fun celebration for our graduating seniors.
The event is held at the King Philip High School which is completely transformed by parent volunteers to be a party venue. Students enjoy interactive games, DJ / dancing with a Hard Rock Cafe theme, several inflatables, a photo booth, airbrush tattoo artists, and even a petting zoo. Students can pick from a variety of food options and can enjoy some down-time in the long stretch of hallway that is decorated in various country themes. The goal is to provide free or reduced admission tickets to encourage all students to attend. King Philip Regional High School is a public school that serves the communities of Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham Massachusetts. This grant is one of many ways that helps raise funds and improve the experience for their graduating seniors.