For many graduation is a night not easily forgotten.
The academic success of the student pales against the sea of swaying mutlicoloured dresses and suits of different styles.
Two local retailers, Ed Harry and Emllie, have decided to donate clothes to disadvantaged young people from Goulburn, Yass, Queanbeyan and Canberra for their special day.
Students are a part of Project Booyah, a 20-week early intervention program for at risk youth between the ages of 14 and 18. With support from Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) participants complete a Certificate I or II qualification to help build their vocational pathways.
Canberra PCYC officer Cheryl O’Donnell, who lives in Goulburn, said the graduation was a highlight of the course amongst both the boys and girls.
“Businesses within the local community care about these young people,” Ms O’Donnell said.
“They were so excited as well, they put their heads down, moved forward and was able to achieve. These kids can make changes, the only thing that stops them is fear.”
As part of this partnership students are assisted by retail staff to pick their favourite piece of clothing from the store.
Ed Harry manager Debbie Bourke described the students as very grateful. Owner of Emllie Nadia Kitching added that it was nice to give back and provide encouragement for those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“A lot of them don’t have anything at all. Seeing the smiles on their faces was the most rewarding thing of all,” Ms Kitching said.
The retailers were contacted by Canberra PCYC earlier this year. To learn more or donate, head to the Canberra PCYC website.