Students Dance the Day Away at the Center for Learning’s 2024 Prom!

Aspire of WNY Center for Learning’s students danced the day away at the annual prom celebration, embracing this year’s prom theme, “Sweethearts.” The CFL cafeteria was transformed into a vibrant prom setting, decked out in festive decor to set the mood for individuals to enjoy a fun day of dancing, refreshments, and mingling with friends.

The prom kicked off at around 9:30 AM and ran until 2:00 PM, with a brief one-hour lunch intermission. In attendance were the students of the 5 high school-aged classrooms at the CFL, accompanied in the later afternoon by a few elementary students who were eager to join in on the fun. Altogether, approximately 60 individuals, along with staff, came together for the prom.

Prom Day was filled with fun activities and refreshments. The dance floor was brought to life by DJ Tony from Moving Music, who generously donated his time and services to this lively celebration. Individuals danced to timeless classics like the YMCA, the Cha Cha Slide, and the Chicken Dance, in addition to other popular songs. Attendees enjoyed punch, snacks, and cupcakes and took many pictures at the photo station. In preparation for this vibrant day, individuals were given the opportunity to assist with decorating and had the chance to get their hair and makeup done by stylists from Leon Studio One.

Of course, no prom is complete without the crowning of a king and queen. To make sure everyone gets a chance to be a prom king or queen during their time at the CFL, it was decided that each graduating student would be crowned. When names were called, kings and queens walked up on stage to receive a sash and crown. “Everyone was super supportive of each other during the crowning ceremony; there was a lot of cheering and applause for each name that was called,” explains Kelsey Travers, Intake Specialist at Aspire of WNY.

From button-up shirts to flowy dresses, students at the prom dressed to impress. While the event was semi-formal, students were encouraged to participate in the event’s theme of “Sweethearts.” Both students and staff were welcome to wear shades of red, pink, or anything with hearts. “It was super fun to see what each student did with the theme this year and how they let their own individual styles shine through,” explains Sarah Maciejewski, Director of Education at the CFL.

“Overall, it’s a really exciting day and gives the students something special to look forward to. They’re all very excited to just get dressed up and dance with their friends,” explains Crystal Szatkowski, a teacher at the CFL. “Our physical education teacher completed a dance unit to many of the songs that were played at the prom leading up to it, so they all knew it was coming and were really anticipating it,” she says.

Events like this are vital to Aspire of WNY’s mission of helping individuals actualize their dreams and live to their highest levels of independence. They are only made possible through the support of the entire Aspire of WNY community. We believe that everything we do is an opportunity to have a positive, meaningful, and lasting impact on our partners – the people we support and their personal support systems, employees, other care agencies, and our community.