For those who thought they'd never have Prom, one night to 'feel like royalty'

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Dozens of young adults Thursday got to enjoy the prom night they never thought they'd get to experience.

For these people, who left high school before graduation, it was a celebration of them trying to better their lives.

Like the 100 or so guests at this young adult prom at the DoubleTree Hotel in Center City, 21-year-old Tiana Vanderhost didn't finish high school. Prom was considered a missed oppurtunity. 

She, like the others, is close to earning her GED. So why not party?

"I'm feeling really excited," Vanderhost said. "This is all new to me."

It's all new down to shoes on her feet: It's the first time she's ever worn high heels.

Asked if she ever imagine she would attend prom, she said, "I always did. Sometimes I would daydream about getting dressed up, having makeup moments, stuff like that. I feel very happy."

Nasir Jackson, 21, is also close to earning his GED.

"I didn't think I'd ever be part of a prom," he said. "I was always messing up in school, but I toned it down."

JEVS Human Services, a nonprofit social services agency, organized everything. That includes making sure the guys have fresh hair cuts and the girls get their hair and makeup done. 

"It means the world to us. The excitement on people's faces today is going to make all of it worth it," said Margaretta Wilcox, manager of youth and gateway programs at JEVS. "They get really excited to experience things they may have missed for another reason and to feel like royalty, like princes and princesses."

There was no king or queen on this night, however. Instead, everyone's recent achievements were celebrated.