Fashion Show raises money for Daylight Prom

Shrija Shandilya | The Chronicle

Mason High School’s (MHS) recent Prom Fashion Show was not just an opportunity for students to model, but also a way for students to help others.

Through the event on March 14, 2024, sponsored by the National Honor Society (NHS), students raised over $2,000 to fund this year’s Daylight Prom, a sensory-friendly version of Prom for students with disabilities. 

NHS Vice President of Service, senior Jodie Topich, said that her personal connections to the event made her excited to raise funds for Daylight Prom.

“I personally know people who go to Daylight Prom and it made me want to raise all the money we could,” Topich said. “It was a relief when I heard the total amount of money and to know we can support everyone that needs it.”

Topich said that initiatives like the one to fund Daylight Prom are important in a large school like Mason, especially to ensure that all students feel included.

“We should always have an opportunity to give everyone a chance to participate in something as big in high school as Prom,” Topich said.

During the Prom Fashion Show, students attending Daylight Prom were able to model along with the students in the Club and Formal Round. Topich said doing this was important for representation.

“Everyone should be represented and we tried to do that in the Prom Fashion Show,” Topich said. “We want someone from every single aspect of our school to be represented and in the past we’ve missed out on students in our specialized classrooms.”

Topich also said she liked to see how many of the models from the Formal Round were eager to help students walking for Daylight Prom.

“It was amazing to be able to work with them and get different people involved,” Topich said. “The formal models were so quick to step in and there was an immediate sense of friendship.” 

In addition to MHS students, students from surrounding schools will also be able to attend Daylight Prom which will be held at the Savannah Center on May 3. Work Study and Transition Coordinator Carrie Thompson said that this is one of the reasons why Daylight Prom was created.

“Mason does a pretty good job at trying to be welcoming for all students but for a lot of other school districts that’s challenging,” Thompson said.

Like Topich, Thompson said that Prom is an important part of high school and all students should have an opportunity to experience it.

“High school includes a lot of rites of passage and it’s great that our student population is contributing to everyone being able to experience that,” Thompson said.

In addition to students who are part of the specialized education program, student chaperones also attend Daylight Prom. Thompson said these students often enjoy it as well.

“For several years we’ve had students go as peer escorts,” Thomspon said. “Oftentimes they say it was better than their prom and want to attend again.”

MHS senior Adam Little said that he is grateful for the connections he has made with students who attend Daylight Prom and looks forward to attending Daylight Prom this year.

“There’s just so much joy down in the Z pod classrooms that not everyone gets to experience,” Little said. “I’ve just been really blessed in my past two years to grow a relationship with these students.”

Little, who is part of Students Involving and Befriending Students (SIBS), attends monthly field trips with students in MHS specialized classrooms and said that Daylight Prom provides a similar opportunity for these students to socialize and develop more friendships.

“They are always excited to see a new group of friends for the day and a new group of people to interact with and that’s what Daylight Prom provides,” Little said. “It’s been really cool to see new friendships blossom and when I’m around them, they inspire me to have joy.”

Little said that Daylight Prom is important as students with disabilities are often misrepresented and having school organizations like NHS and SIBS help fund inclusive events has a huge impact on all students.

“An area of our school that often gets overlooked is our students in specialized classrooms,” Little said. “We’re trying to develop a relationship with students in those classes and providing an inclusive dance is part of the everyday efforts we try to put in.”