Post-Prom Event Keeps Teens Safe
As prom and graduation season come to a close, one organization is elated Montgomery County teens enjoyed their last high school moments safely.
Montgomery County Project Prom/Graduation (MGCPP/G) is a volunteer driven group of parents and concerned citizens who make sure students have a safe place to party afterwards. They started back in 1992 after seeing a need in the community.
MyMCMedia’s Tamika Smith sat down with the volunteer organization’s nonprofit organizers who drive the efforts in the community.
Tamika Smith: What was the inspiration behind starting it in Montgomery County?
MGCPP/G: The inspiration came after a training with Northern Virginia Celebrate Life team, after graduation event planners. There was a consensus that Montgomery County should have an organized volunteer group to assist and train public and private high schools.
Smith: What do you hear from parents who support these events? How does it affect them?
MGCPP/G: The parents have been very supportive of post-prom which provides a fun outlet for the students while ensuring their safety. Several months are spent prior to the prom organizing a network of parent volunteers to staff post-prom. The results are nothing less than astounding. Donations from the business community are sought for sponsors of events, food, and prizes. The school administrators also lend their support. In short, it is a win-win situation for everyone. The students have a great time, the parents are grateful for everyone’s safety, and the business community has the opportunity to support a safe environment. It is often the last chance for parents to participate for their son or daughter before they leave home for college, military, job, or other adventure.
Smith: Why do you think it’s important for organizations like yours to exist in schools?
MCPP/G affords the inexperienced after prom event team to interact with experienced planners for strategies and resources to host a safe substance free activity for their high school community. MCPP/G is the liaison with Montgomery County Department of Police. MCDP assigns two alcohol enforcement trained officers for each in county after prom event. The police feel such a commitment that the funding is inclusive in their overtime budget. MCPP/G also partners with Barwood Taxi. This service affords youth attending an after prom alternative transportation home when other venues are not available. MCPP/G shares the prom and after prom schedule with a variety of MC folks to raise the awareness of the events to that our youth celebrate safely. Grassroots organizations involve folks at the community level without the restrictions associated with a government agency.
MGCPP/G: Do you have any major projects coming up?
No, we are “winding down” for the summer. However the Board members will most likely meet throughout the summer to strategize for the upcoming year. We are all way looking for volunteers in the following areas: leadership positions, web site content development, fundraising/prizes-in kind or financial. The results are redirected back to the current members for the next fiscal year.