Imagine not being able to attend your prom—a pinnacle high school moment, because of a terminal illness.
This is the case for many teens across the U.S... that is until “Prom in a Box.”
Fred Scarf, then 15-years-old, created the campaign after his best friend Shiri died from a rare form of bone cancer. The teen founded Now Proms, part of No Worries Now, which gives those with (or who survived) a life-threatening illness the opportunity to attend prom.
“After CNN featured No Worries Now, I got a lot of emails from people around the world who wanted to organize their own proms and requested that we organize a prom in their city,” said the 2010 CNN Hero.
According to Scarf, the adventure of organizing the prom and seeing his work come to fruition is great. All proms are for teens ages 13 to 19, but if you’re a little older (or younger) no worries you can still come!
“Everyone involved enjoys it,” stated Scarf about the event. “It’s a program that really challenges you and forces you to play to your strengths and develop skills that you didn't know you had.”
“The best part of the program is seeing the joy the attendees get out of your creation.”
The 21-year-old hopes to bring Prom in a Box to every city in the world—to give local teen patients the chance to be kids for one night.
His advice for teens looking to volunteer or start up a cause of their own:
“Just ask yourself, ‘what do you want?’ Then figure out how to do what you want.”
“I started No Worries Now in 2005. And all I really wanted was for people to not forget know who Shiri (my friend who passed away) was. Shiri lived to have a good time. The concept of the prom is institutionalizing what she lived for to serve as a milestone and memory for teens who are suffering the same physical and psychological pain as she did,” Scarf added.
The deadline to organize next year's prom is Aug. 2012.
What can you do?
- Volunteer your time to help make prom dreams come true.
- Organize your own prom.
- Green your prom (or any dance).