DECA students host prom for people supported in New Bern
Excitement was the sentiment of the day as volunteers from New Bern High School’s DECA program put on a Valentine’s Day “prom” for the participants at Monarch’s Health Drive day program.
The students were members of the school’s DECA program, which offers preparation for careers related to marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, sales and service. They used what they learned to plan and arrange everything from the food and decorations to the music and photography.
“They came to us,” explained Kim Merwin, a qualified professional at Health Drive. “The club was interested in doing some volunteer work. That started the ball rolling. The kids did everything. They decorated, made sandwiches, brought in ice, bottled water and punch, and played music. It was really sweet.”
About 20 students planned a dance for the 40 individuals in the day program, Merwin said. “For me, it was wonderful to see the youth celebrate the similarities with the people we support, whereas a lot of times, people tend to focus on differences.”
The day program participants enjoyed dressing up, Merwin recalled. “They absolutely loved being able to show off their dressy clothes. The students all conducted themselves so professionally.”
The afternoon began with a lunch, followed by music, dancing, photos and the crowning of the Prom King Rick Ford and Queen Angera Morris. The student volunteers danced alongside the people we support and congratulated them as they proudly posed for pictures in their party attire.
“The students were just as excited to be at Health Drive as we were to have them there. Afternoons like this are vital for the individuals we support, as well as the people within our communities,” Merwin said. “Everyone who participated shared a wonderful experience that celebrated our similarities rather than having the differences between us as the focus. It was a special day for all involved.”