The pandemic put a halt to prom and other iconic high school traditions, but that magical night for San Diego high school seniors is back after a two-year hiatus.
The return of prom means another tough cost to cover for families, especially during a period of inflation, but San Diego nonprofit The Princess Project is helping students make up for lost time.
"Prom is expensive and we all know the gas prices right now make everything a little bit more expensive, so we want to be able to give the teens a chance to get a gorgeous free gown," said volunteer Meghan Atilano.
The Princess Project got started more than a decade ago as an effort to help high school seniors find dresses and accessories for prom without worrying about the financial and physical stress dress shopping can bring.
"It's open to anybody with a school ID. You don’t even need a prom date, just a school ID," said Atilano with a chuckle.
Karen Martin leads a team of volunteers that make The Princess Project possible. Their main goal is to promote self confidence.
"We do everything we can to make them feel beautiful from the inside and out," said Martin.
Organizers ask students to make free appointments online. Their shop inside the Westfield Mission Valley mall runs through April 23. They are also hosting pop-up dress giveaways at the Borrego Springs Library, Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library and the Vista Library
NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 are involved in helping the The Princess Project as sponsors.