With prom season around the corner, one Fresno teenager is making the big night less expensive for students in need.
Sophia Bautista, a Clovis West graduate, took to Twitter this week to offer her past prom dresses to students who can't afford their own. She is lending them out for an evening at a time, dry cleaning the gowns between events. Bautista also is paying for a makeup artist for each person who borrows a dress.
A prom costs California students and their families an average of $625, according to Yahoo's Prom Across America survey, with $202 of that spent on a dress.
The red gown in Bautista's picture cost $350. After her tweet, it was claimed for three dances in May.
Now a Fresno City College student, Bautista said she was inspired to share her dresses by her parents, who made her senior prom particularly special.
"Seeing myself with the red dress, my hair done, and my makeup done like that is something I'll never forget because for the first time I felt really, really beautiful," she said. "I want that same moment for girls in need who may not have parents like mine or maybe they do but they can't afford something like that."
Prom dress-sharing is a minor movement on Twitter, where teenagers post both offers of dresses and requests to borrow them. The replies to Bautista's original tweet were full of praise, including one that read, "It’s the small, yet noble, acts of selfless and kindness like this that make my heart so warm. Thank you for sacrificing your time to make someone’s night/year special."
Bautista said that since her tweet, another woman has also offered to do the dress recipients' nails for free.