Chicago Teens ‘Say Yes to the Prom’

For many girls, prom is the most important night of their teenage lives. But, unfortunately, not all prom dreams come true, which is why Discovery Communications created its annual “Say Yes to the Prom” initiative.

The program, now in its third year, aims to promote self-confidence and a positive self-image for deserving high school girls across the country. On Wednesday, May 7, students from Chicago’s Julian High School and Curie Metropolitan High School visited Harpo Studios for head-to-toe makeovers from Monte Durham, star of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.

“I came up from West Virginia with meager means and when I walk into the room, they view me as a celebrity,” says Durham. “But once I share my story and struggle, they start viewing me as an equal. What’s most rewarding for all of us is to watch these girls become self-assured and confident within a matter of a few hours. The girls are so excited and gracious and appreciative, but they don’t realize what they do for us.”

In addition to receiving makeovers by bare Minerals, prom-dos by JC Penny salon experts and donated dresses, the girls also receive accessories and lessons on how to walk and stand properly.

“They’re critiqued by me and their shoppers so they leave here with prom perfection!” says Durham.

If you’d like to donate a gown to charity, please visit

(Photo Credit: Harpo Inc./George Burns)