Silver Spring, MD – What started out as a vision with a passionate mix to give back to the community has magnified into a unique concept that is both soul inspiring, motivational and uplifting. Leggy, suave and highly talented Ghanaian born Afua Sam-C.E.O/head designer at Studio d’ Maxsi explains that “Operation Prom avails a deserving female student the opportunity to adorn a custom designed gown to her school prom”.
Jasmine Green, Afua Sam
The main objective of Operation Prom is to boost the confidence of young Ladies with the aim of encouraging them to strive for better education to ensure a successful career in life. Participants would have to show; punctuality at school, dedication to school activities, be decent and well mannered and must have a 3.5 minimum GPA. Interested girls are also expected to write an essay in 500 words as to why they should be given the opportunity.
Jasmine Green, 18 and graduate of Largo High School Maryland emerged winner of the 2012 edition of Operation Prom. Sadly, her parents were not at her graduation on May 29. While her father died while undergoing heart surgery when she was eight, her mother died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease when she was 12. “But I know they’d be proud of me, their little baby girl,” said Green, who despite her losses is graduated in the top 10 percent of her class and heading to Towson University in the fall to major in forensic chemistry with the goal of one day working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “I admire her,” Largo Principal Angelique Simpson-Marcus said about Green. “She’s had some difficult things to overcome, but her attitude inspires me. It’s her energy; she’s extremely resilient.”
Afua Sam admits that the challenges she faced as a young lady and the inability for her to attain a higher level od education are some reasons that led to the vision of operation prom. She further describes Jasmine Green’s entry for OPERATION PROM 2012 as not a mere but a further attestation to the conceptualizing of Operation Prom. Afua greatly admires Jasmine’s strength and enthusiasm for success in spite of adversity.
“I was so impressed with how she found out about the project. She is the perfected example of someone who will go after what she wants without thinking about the outcome” says Afua.
Jasmine Green extolled the virtues of Afua Sam; “When I entered the Operation Prom contest, I didn’t expect to be chosen as a winner. I was introduced to Ms. Afua Sam and was stunned at her authenticity and humanitarian nature. From the first moment I met Afua, to the day she put the finishing touches on my prom dress, I recognized that God placed her in my life not only for prom, but also for inspiration. I admire her hard work and dedication and have found myself saying, “Ms. Sam go get some rest!” This woman works!! In watching her hard work and success, I am reminded that when you work hard you get an outstanding outcome! I LOVED MY GORGEOUS PROM DRESS! The style was customized in a hue of pink with gold shimmer which reflected my personality. The dress was delicate, outgoing, and chic. Afua added several embellishments that made my dress POP!”
Jasmine Green also acknowledges the dexterity of Mr. David McCoy photographer for the evening, make-up artist Ms. Felicia Gray and hair stylist, Ms. Charlene Brown. “I enjoyed the entire experience and couldn’t have asked for a better prom send-off!” Afua Sam also acknowledges these AWESOME individuals who consistently donate their time and talent to support other causes like Operation Prom… “Thank you all for your contribution and hard work”
The Winning Essay: Fashion Limited to No defining Standards
by Jasmine Green
Access granted! Many people never grasp how special life is itself. We take things for granted everyday not realizing everyday is an opportunity to love, care, and acknowledge God. When I was eight years old, my father passed away and motionless thoughts passed through my mind. What was I going to do? I always had my mom and dad by my side! My father couldn’t leave us, No not like this? The endless notations of questionable answers had driven me to be somber. My father and I were never separated for we were like peanut butter and jelly. After my father’s death, my mother began to get very sick and my sister went to college. Since my father passed and my sister was off to pursue a greater education, I had to take care of my mother. I went to the grocery store, paid bills, and took care of the cooking. At that present moment, I had misunderstood what love really was. I didn’t like to handle the “grown up stuff.” I wanted to go outside and run around until I was tired. Still holding on to the memory of my father, I continuously prayed that God would save my mother and wouldn’t take her away.
Needless, to say life had just begun for change was yet to come. Four years later, my mother passed and my mindset as a twelve year old girl had been tremendously revolted. I look back at the moments with my mom and wish I could have done it better. No words in the world could ever explain how much I miss my parents; however, I am still blessed. The obstacles in my life seemed like I wouldn’t see the break of dawn. I would have never thought I would have made it this far. The gratefulness that has taken over my life of appreciating having those appointed people in my life will be shared. I have no doubt in my mind that becoming responsible, outgoing, and creative will inspire people to be grateful also. I will be graduating from high school with a 3.4 grade point average, and I am determined to become the best I can be in all areas of life. Whether it’s developing relationships with people or just giving back.
Limitless dreams cross my mind every day. I look at everything as if there are no limits for I can have anything I put my awe-inspiring mind to with hard work and dedication. This journey allowed me to obtain a different view of the world. I realized even more that there is so much more in the world than this circle of life, that peoples hopes and dreams fail to maintain. Yes, there was plenty of times I wished my mom and dad would come to a cheerleading competitions or a softball game; nevertheless, I can not dwell on what my past maintains. I can only consider what my future contains. The fact that I had to depend on the people left in my life required me to identify what I really want in this world. Independence! It was then that I realized that I was capable of reaching my goal- earning a college degree and having a career in Business Management while pursuing a minor in Fashion Design or Environmental studies.
When I step foot on that special campus, I will not only bring my caring spirit but I will be able to share my story with my fellow students. I want to inspire those who have their parents to be appreciative and for those who don’t, they have to be the strongest they can be. For the time will come, someone in the future generation will need my story to help them through their obstacles in life. Through my experience, I have learned to be strong in order to survive. I want to use my strengths to support others going through the same things that I went through and educate them in substantial ways. Ultimately, I would like to own my own boutique and start a scholarship foundation for children just like me whose parents have passed away. Fashion design creates an escape mechanism for my heart, which allows me to express simple ideas on pieces of fabric. I will be gladly ready to obtain the fashion that will not limit to defining standards.
A Trendy Africa Media Production. By Tosan Aduayi