Two Montreal students enjoyed the experience of a lifetime

Contact Staff

This year, two young Montrealers, Jalen Viau and Tarique Baptiste had the experience of a lifetime after winning the  #SheDidThatProm and the #SheDidThatProm presents #TheClassicMan student initiatives.
Viau, of Lindsay Place High School, is preparing to move to Ontario to finish Grade 12  before joining a Ontario Provincial Police department program.
Her initial reaction to hearing that she won the competition was priceless:
“I received the call that I was the winner when I was at work. I was jumping and crying, tears of joy! I called my mom and dad and told them the good news and my mom was screaming.”
She describes the experience as “a prom journey I’ll never forget.”
“#SheDidThatProm made all my wishes come true and it was the best experience ever. I am forever grateful,” the 17-year-old told organizers.
She added that It was all very overwhelming, it turned out to be “a beautiful day.”
And her advice to other thinking about applying for a chance to share in the experience is: “(don’t) hesitate, because you never know when a miracle could happen. It doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.”
Her mom, Jessica Viau Zytaruk, told organizers: “Seeing her try on prom dresses, that brought tears to my eyes! My baby is not a little girl anymore and it’s amazing to see her transformation. Thank you so much to #SheDidThatProm for this incredible experience.”
Tamraa Greenidge and Katrina Nurse, two friends, launched #SheDidThatProm three  years ago to provide a deserving student with an experience of a lifetime: an all-expense paid prom.
The competition was open to students of West Indian heritage between the ages of 16-17-years-old who were graduating from high school with an overall average of 80% or more in their last term report card. Students were also asked to write a 500 word essay explaining why they deserve to win.
And the winner received a new prom dress, new shoes, visits to a hairstylist and makeup artist together with accessories and financial assistance for transportation and prom ticket and professional pictures throughout the night.
The criteria for the male students is the same. And Baptiste as the winner in this category received a new suit, tie, shoes, payment of prom ticket, payment of transportation, a fresh hair cut, corsage for his date and professional pictures throughout the night.
He described it as “an interesting journey because I had to start looking for clothes that I am not used to. I learned that there are many different styles to choose from. It was also a challenge to see what style works for me. I am a quiet, low-key person and being pampered and having all the attention on me was new for me. As the oldest child, I am used to taking care of my younger siblings and being taken care of was nice for a change.”
His mother, Cheryl Williams, thank organizers for “seeing the greatness in our son that we see in him every day.”
“We are so grateful to you because he couldn’t have happened at a better time (I lost my job) I was worried he wasn’t going to get the prom he deserves and the contest win was the greatest blessing.”
Organizers Greenidge, Nurse and new member Tia Maclean, in turn thanked all who supported their initiative, including “those who came out to support at our Zumba and Hip Hop fundraiser.”
We would also like to extend a very special thank you to our sponsors: Jon-Claude Alexander, RW&CO, Bestbite Catering, Four Brown Girls, H4L Dance Studio, The Sunshine Girls and the Eva R. Gsum Foundation. We would also like to thank Heather Jones – makeup artist, Jessica Wilson – hairstylist from Sassy Salon, and Maria Kamisis – photographer.
For more information on how to apply or sponsor #SheDidThatProm please check out our website at www.shedidthatprom.com or contact shedidthatprom@gmail.com.