The Bulldog Tribune

Irene’s Prom Closet Prepares Teenage Girls for Homecoming

Madison Norman, Staff Writer

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Irene’s Prom Closet


It is officially Homecoming season. Teenagers are picking out their dresses, shoes, and jewelry or matching their suits with their ties, but some students are not able to participate in this festivity because they can’t afford to purchase the outfits.

This is when Irene’s Prom Closet can come in and save the day. This non-profit organization provides the clothes and accessories to students in need so they can attend their school dances, homecomings, and proms.

Irene’s Prom Closet started after the passing of Irene Picota, a former college student and graduate of Class of 2008 at Loudoun County High School. Her dream of helping others is being kept alive by her family and friends through Irene’s Prom Closet.

“Irene had a tremendous desire to help others and in her short life had served as a volunteer in many nonprofit organizations,” Irene’s Mom and President/Founder of the organization, Maria Vallarino said.

Irene’s Prom Closet provides a plethora of dresses in a short amount of time. Most of the dresses are donations from generous Loudoun County residents and partnering boutiques.

“No one should be left out because they can’t afford a dress. Irene’s Prom Closet allows each student, that is in need, the opportunity to feel like all the other students by providing dresses and more,” Parent Liaison Michelle Cofield said.

They don’t only provide dresses, but shoes, make-up, and hair. Some companies that will offer these services, will offer them free of charge. The students also get to keep their dresses and accessories.

“When a recipient comes to us in tears [of joy] and tells us that this is their first gown and hug us, we are certain that we are doing the right thing,” Vallarino said.

Since being founded on February 14, 2014, Irene’s Prom Closet has helped 3,500 students from mostly Loudoun County, but also Fairfax County, Frederick County, and Washington D.C.

Irene’s Prom Closet was introduced to Stone Bridge’s Parent Liaison, Michelle Cofield, last year, and since then it has helped two Stone Bridge students.

“We are very grateful when students donate their dresses because they’re giving it a second life by helping other students go to their proms/homecoming dances and create memories that every student should have from high school,” Vallarino said.







The student news site of Stone Bridge High School
Irene’s Prom Closet Prepares Teenage Girls for Homecoming