High schooler collects dresses for prom hopefuls in need
A Harlingen High senior has opened up her heart and her closet to personally make sure students who couldn't afford a dress would have one to wear to the prom.
"I think they'll feel beautiful and amazing," Ashli Leal said.
Ashli's efforts to help the less fortunate inspired other students to also donate their gently used dresses.
"I just felt that maybe we can have plenty of dresses for these students that don't have money or are in need of a dress to feel beautiful just like we feel beautiful on our night," she explained.
Students in the Special Ed Department are first to feel like a princess in their dresses for the upcoming 2nd Annual Spring Formal on May 2nd.
Amanda Powelson is a teacher at the school who says she'll never forget the faces of her students who got to try on dresses.
"It was just great to see everyone relaxing, getting to play dress up, having a good time being girls and doing what girls do best," she said.
Ashli selfless acts of kindness earned her a surprise reward on behalf of the Pay it 4Ward program on Action 4 News.
"We want to share a special surprise with you that you probably have no idea is coming, do you?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked.
"No," she said with a puzzled look on her face.
"I want to introduce you to my good friend Karen Gonzalez with FNB Insurance Agency who's here to share something very special with you," Ryan said.
"You're going above and beyond to make sure these students have an unforgettable and an extra special prom experience," Karen, FNB Insurance Agency spokesperson, explained to her. "So on behalf of the Pay it 4Ward program, we would like to award you with $400!"
Ashli's face lit up with emotion when Karen handed over the cash for kindness.
"It just makes me feel so amazing inside," she said. "I'm honestly so speechless. And I'm just so glad that I'm doing it for them, it's not really for me. I'm just glad that I will be able to make them speechless like I am right now. And I just thank God because I can use this for college. Wow!"
Ashli hopes others will continue to give so all students can make the kind of memories that last a lifetime.
Anyone who would like to take action and donate, can take dresses and men's wear to Harlingen High School in care of Ashli Leal.