About the event
All throughout this country, majorly in urban areas, there are young women deterred from following their dreams because they are lacking. They lack monetary support, psychological support, and the confidence and reassurance that they are actually capable of chasing a dream.
My name is ShonTe Smith, a 24 year old young woman on a mission of change. I have been a firsthand witness of the extreme disadvantages of those in the urban areas in this country, more specifically, my hometown of Plainfield, NJ. Chagrined by this fact, I decided to combat it by creating a movement, "The When I Grow Up Project". Our mission is to target the youth and try to fill the bottomless void of motivation and fundamentals needed to embrace and enjoy a meaningful life. This past year alone I organized a coat drive in which 200 winter coats where donated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey and sent 3,000 books to Ghana to establish a library in a local high school.
I am creating this fundraiser because I know that there are individuals whom share my passion of making a difference. If we work together I know that the possibilities for these young ladies are endless. Myself along with my partner Ashlee Jackson are currently in the stages of planning a prom dress giveaway that will provide 20+ young ladies of Plainfield, New Jersey; Barack Obama Civic Development and Barack Obama Green Charter School with gowns and a prom night to remember. We are sure that an opportunity like this would illuminate the hearts of the selected young ladies, but we are not able to do it alone. We would like to ask that you to consider becoming a sponsor for the 2018 Prom Dress Giveaway. The mission is to raise $5,000 to help fund a empowerment luncheon we have planned for the young ladies. On Saturday, March 17, 2018, we will be hosting an event that will provide 20 young ladies with designer gowns and a afternoon of empowerment with city officials, media, and trailblazing women. Our goal: to encourage young women to go boldly in the direction of their wildest dreams. We are determined to provide these young ladies with memorable insight they can recall for the rest of their lives.
Why should you sponsor?
Overview of Prom Dress Giveaway (Dinner and Static Presentation)
- 23% of Plainfield live below the poverty line (vs. national average of
-Blacks the lowest average salary (45,361) compared to their Asian
(103,039) and White (89,941) counterparts
- Two largest populations: Blacks (34.8%) and Hispanic (64%)
- 83.4% of total population is economically disadvantaged
- Date: Saturday, March 17th 2018 12pm-4pm
- Plainfield Venue: Private Location
- Guest List: 75 people (max)
2. Overview of Event Day and Ideas
- Event will not only provide an offset of prom costs for the families of selected
students but provide selected students with special afternoon of empowerment
with influential women
- Static presentation of prom dresses will be given following lunch
- Pending Guest Speakers
- Afternoon of empowerment for 20 young ladies selected from Barack Obama Academy High school for “at risk youth” in Plainfield, New Jersey and Barack Obma Green Charter School Plainfield, New Jersey
- Each young lady will receive a donated dress from Miss NJ & Miss NY United States and other donors
- 5-10 young ladies recommended by school guidance counselor
- 10-15 young ladies selected through competition (ex. essay (what
do you want to be when you grow up? How are you discovering success
on your own terms?)
The money we are raising for this event will go towards the cost of the venue, accomadations for special guest, photographer, and special gifts for young ladies. Please help us make this event an afternoon to remember.
ShonTe Denise Smith, 24 years old born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey graduated from Barack Obama Academy a high school for "At Risk Youth" after being told she wouldn't succeed Class of 2011. With determination, drive and persistence ShonTehas defeated the odds and continues to motivate, encourage and inspire children and young adults to follow their dreams despite the obstacles they may be faced with.
For two consecutive summers ShonTe has taken volunteer trips to both Central America and Africa, developing relationships with students along the way and recording the process for a documentary she directed titled "When I Grow up Project". Smith has been acknowledged locally and nationally for making a difference in the lives of her city’s youth through her movement.
Spring 2016 Smith volunteered at a high school in Ho, Ghana. This experience inspired the idea for a book drive in which she sent 3,000 books to stock the school's library. During one of the Smith’s many conversations with the students about their love for school, one student's story told stood out in particular. Smith met high school senior "Shelta", one day Shelta said to Smith, “ I wish there were more books in my school’s library,” adding that students are not allowed to take books home after school hours. Shelta then guided Smith to the “Read 100 Library” so she could see the limited collection of books first hand. “That moment changed everything,” Smith said. “I thought about how much we take books, other reading materials and library lending programs for granted in the States.” Inspired by what felt like a call to action, she began planning a book drive upon her return to Plainfield, New Jersey. In doing so, she aimed to build cross cultural connections between African Americans and Ghanaians. ShonTe successfully collected 3,000 books and sent them to "Read 100 Library" in Ho, Ghana. This book drive went viral and caught the attention of media mogul Yandy Smith whom was the biggest contributor to "The When I Grow Up Project" #Books4ghana drive.
Since the book drive, ShonTe Smith received 2017 Southern Burlington County NAACP Humanitarian of the Year award, and has been featured in The Huffington Post, USA Today, My Central Jersey, and Courier News. Most recently Smith competed for Miss New Jersey USA and won a Miss New Jersey USA humanitarian award by donating 200 winter coats to Big Brother and Big Sisters of New Jersey.
ShonTe is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education to teach youth pre-k through 6th grade on an international level; working 2 jobs as a pre-school teacher, and waitress. While she looks forward to continuing her work by planning a prom dress giveaway/dinner for Barack Obama Academy seniors graduates of 2018 and preparing for her return to Ghana to visit "Read 100" library. ShonTe has never let life or obstacles stop her from doing what she loves and helping others and her mission to continuing to uplift women around the world through her testimony.
Contact the Organizer
Contact the Organizer