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Michigan Girls Hold Girls-Only Prom

In Life by Kim Muraro , on Thursday, May 03, 2012, 5:09 AM (PDT)
all girl prom
New York Times
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Instead of Fretting About Boys and Spending Hundreds of Dollars on Dresses, These Cool Teens Focused on Celebrating Their Different Cultures

Sure, there have been plenty of examples in the news lately about kids doing really stupid things -- getting drunk off drinking hand sanitizer, for instance -- but here's an example of how one group of teens took what could have been an anxiety-inducing scenario and turned it into something fun and positive.

Read: Girls Scouts Punch Jerk Who Stole Their Cookie Profits

At Hamtramck High School in Hamtramck, Michigan, a student named Tharima Ahmed was not allowed to attend her school prom, because her Muslim background forbids her from dating, dancing with boys and even being around them in everyday life without wearing a headscarf.

But Ahmed still wanted her chance to celebrate her school days, prom-style, so she hatched the idea of an all-girl prom, where she and her classmates could attend without a date.

The theme: Once Upon a Dream.

Because the culturally-diverse area Ahmed lives in includes many girls whose religious beliefs precluded them from attending the traditional school prom -- an informal survey she conducted at school suggested 65 percent of her female classmates couldn't go to the prom -- Ahmed and friends were able to raise about $2,500 to put on their own bash.

They got the support of the school, and even invited alumni who had been unable to attend their own proms. And 100 girls were in attendance when the Once Upon a Dream evening unfolded with Ahmed and her friends, as well as students who had also attended the school's traditional prom, but who wanted to show support for their friends from different cultural backgrounds.

Read: COOL: 14-Year-Old Girl Is Building Her Own Car

Music, food, dancing (and a five-minute prayer break) were among the girls' prom activities, and, for many of them, it was the first time they had gotten to see each other without the headscarves.

Check out the New York Times story on the pink and sparkly all-girls prom, which includes video of the big event and an interview with the impressive Tharmina Ahmed.

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