One Saskatoon organization continues to offer the “princess experience” for many young women who otherwise can’t afford it.
For over ten years, the Princess Shop has provided at-risk young women around the city with graduation dresses to celebrate their educational achievements.
Karen Robson, the organization’s executive director, says, without the dresses, many of these girls wouldn’t attend their own graduation ceremonies.
“It is so rewarding to know they feel included in the school celebration and generally in society by removing these barriers,” she said.
Robson says every year they do this program, it is amazing how far a simple gesture can go.
“We are excited to continue to find different barriers to break down,” she said.
The Princess Shop Dress Program has grown significantly over the past decade. It has seen the number of dresses given out rise from a few dozen, to an expected 150 dresses this year.
In addition to the dress program, this will the first year they will be offering a rent scholarship for one of the women in the program pursuing a post-secondary education. The successful applicant will receive 12 months of free rent while they attend school.
“This means everything to us,” said Robson. “Even when they come in for the dress, we can see them light up and their confidence rise and now to know we can have a conversation at the end to say we can continue to be there for them, it is so rewarding and so fulfilling.”
The dress program is not funded by any government grants and receives all of its finances through fundraising.
A Glass Slipper Benefit will be taking place tonight at TCU Place in Saskatoon. Several dignitaries are planning to attend the benefit, which will highlight several success stories from previous years.
(PHOTO: Graduation dress. Photo courtesy of princessshop.ca)