promNot every young woman who wants to go to the prom gets to go, for the simple reason that for many girls, prom night is too expensive. The costs of paying to have hair, makeup and nails done, to pay for jewelry and shoes, and most importantly, the dress, can be prohibitive with the result that the girl ends up having to stay home on prom night. Unfortunately, not getting to go to the prom is for many of these young women the least of their troubles.

The economic disadvantages that face these girls often pose major challenges that can make it difficult to succeed in life. They may find it more difficult to get a college education, to secure a well-paying job, and to enjoy a satisfactory standard of living. Furthermore, they may be exposed to substance abuse in the home or in social circles, and all too many of them follow suit, seeking in drugs or alcohol an escape from a reality of harsh privation and despair. Missing the prom is not necessarily the worst problem that these young women face, but it does serve as a representative example of how much they stand to lose before they even have a chance to get started in life. 

One group that is working to improve the lot of at-risk girls in various communities around the country is the Cinderella Project. The Cinderella Project is a loose organization of people who work together to help disadvantaged young women both in the short term and in the long run. The most dramatic aspect of the Cinderella Project is the activity from which it derives its name, by providing prom dresses to girls who would not otherwise be able to afford them. By collecting donations from the local community, the Cinderella Project is able to supply the beneficiaries with beautiful dresses that they can proudly wear on their big night at the prom. But that is not all that they do to help these young women. The program also includes activities aimed at helping young women build self-confidence and learn to make good choices to protect their chances for a happy and fulfilling future. In effect, the Cinderella Projects helps young women avoid missing out on the prom and also sets them on the right path to avoid missing out on all that life has to offer.

Narconon Volunteers with the Cinderella Project

For the past few years, volunteers from the Narconon New Life Retreat in Denham Springs, Louisiana, have been spending time helping out with the local Cinderella Project. They do so because they recognize full well what a worthy cause it is. Many of the men and women who end up coming to the New Life Retreat for rehab are people who come from troubled backgrounds and whose own struggles with substance abuse began when they gave up real hope of making it in life. Effective intervention early in life can make an enormous difference, and activities such as the Cinderella Project can go a long way towards helping a young adult avoid the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol.

A relatively small amount of time and effort spent investing in the happiness and well being of a child or teenager can literally save that person’s life from the threat of drug overdose. The staff of the Narconon New Life Retreat know that they have the tools necessary to help a person recover from addiction, but they would rather help that person avoid getting addicted in the first place, and so they regularly look for opportunities to support activities such as the Cinderella Project, with the goal of improving the community and the lives of those in it.