Cinderella Project gives deserving teens the fairy godmother treatment
VANCOUVER -- More than 200 at-risk teens from across Metro Vancouver got to live out a real-life Cinderella story.
Volunteers acted as fairy godmothers by putting together the Cinderella Project's 21st annual boutique event Sunday.
A ballroom inside the Pinnacle Vancouver Harbourfront Hotel was transformed into a mall for highschool students to pick an outfit for graduation.
With racks upon racks of donated gowns, suits, shoes and accessories—Cinderellas and Cinderfellas were able to find their winning looks for the special occasion.
They were also treated to hair and makeup services, a care package and formal photos to commemorate the day.
Graduation is a milestone for any student and celebrating the academic achievement often comes with a hefty price tag. But the event also gives youth something money can't buy.
"What is most meaningful exceeds the dresses, the suits, the blingy jewelry. It's about the abundance of kindness," Heather Mackenzie, co-founder of the Cinderella Project told CTV News.
"That's what we see in the letters written by these young people, is how they have never experienced such love, such support. They'll always say it's amazing that so many strangers made me feel like I mattered."
The students who attend the event are selected by school officials to be recognized for their hard work while also overcoming personal adversity.
Mackenzie said the teens have all experienced some form of abuse, bullying, mental health issues or have found themselves in other unfortunate circumstances.
"It's been a tough road for these youth, so as a community what we're showing them is that we care," said Mackenzie. "We admire their tenacity, their perseverance and beauty as individuals."