Bishop Hall Charter School seniors take a moment to pose for a photo after the Senior Walk during the prom held April 4. The prom was organized by Thomas University Social Work students.
TU Social Work class organizes prom for Bishop Hall students
Prom is an integral part of the high school experience. It’s a rite of passage afforded to junior and senior students that marks their continued rise toward graduation and, for some, the transition on to higher learning.
For the students of Bishop Hall Charter School, however, prom has not been a part of their high school experience for several years due to budgetary limitations. On Friday, April 4, for the first time in several years, the students of Bishop Hall got a largely community-sponsored prom.
Bishop Hall is a charter school in Thomasville and a part of the Thomas County School System that is comprised of students who did not thrive in more traditional learning environments. Here students are given a second chance at completing their high school education successfully – a chance, without which, many students would not make it to graduation. Students who graduate from Bishop Hall overcome a number of boundaries and conditions that their peers might not face, making their achievement just that much more special. These students work hard and overcome their adversities in order to succeed. The Social work students of Thomas University recognized almost immediately that these students deserved a reward for their hard work and the normalcy of the prom experience.
When this year’s senior Social Work class at Thomas University began discussing possible community projects, a prom for the deserving students of Bishop Hall seemed like the natural decision. Four weeks of intense planning, donation requests, organizing and altering of previous conceptions about what constitutes good communication went into making the event a success.
The senior Social Work class set about procuring donations to make the night as magical as possible and the community answered. Donations were received from Flower’s Bakery, Harvey’s Supermarket of Thomasville, Plantation Deli, Chick-Fil-A of Thomasville, Horne Candy Company, Wal-Mart, Thomas County Police Department, and various donors in the community who wished to remain anonymous. Thanks to the efforts of the community at large and Thomas University’s senior Social Work class, students found themselves transported to Mardi Gras on April 4 in an event worthy of their accomplishment as students.
Prom may be just another part of the high school experience for some students, but for the students of Bishop Hall, prom is the new four letter word for hope. In addition to having great food and a good reason to get all dressed up, these students received support and acknowledgement of their hard work from the community.
Thomas University senior Social Work students organized the prom for Bishop Hall Charter School as part of a class project. Students include (front row from left) Kathryn Jones, Diane Hamon, Amber Hamilton, Christina Wynn; (middle row) Jennifer Donalson-Baker, Theresa Wright, Kaytriana Clare, Jasmine Tucker, Sue Miller, Alicia Murphy; (back row) Social Work Division Chair Bill Milford, Samantha Rutherford, Kenyatta Jackson, and Gregory McCullough.