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Bergen County Junior's Prom Dress Drive Makes Dreams Come True for Local High School Girls


By: Richard L. Smith

I am taking this awesome opportunity for our RLS Media platform family members to meet Lily Cossio, a junior at the Academy of the Holy Angels, who has made prom night dreams come true for many girls in her community.AHAUnderstanding that the cost of prom dresses can be a barrier for some, Lily organized a Prom Dress Drive, collecting 162 gently-used formal dresses for girls to choose from, free of charge.

Lily, hailing from Tenafly, combined her passion for giving back to her community and her Cuban heritage to make a significant impact.

She partnered with the Academy's Campus Ministry and the National Association of Cuban American Women (NACAW), a non-profit organization based in Union City, where she has been a volunteer since her youth.

This initiative was part of the Academy’s International Week, a celebration of diversity that aligns with Lily’s goal of making prom accessible to all.

Inspired by similar efforts in Bergen County, Lily was determined to bring this joy to Union City High School, a community close to her heart.Ad “Union City has a very vibrant Cuban community, and being that I am half Cuban, and many of my family members and friends live in Union City, I'd love to help Union City High School,” Lily shared.

The drive was a first for Lily, who skillfully utilized social media and local businesses as collection points to gather an impressive range of dresses.

Her efforts were supported by the AHA community and extended to Tenafly, Hoboken, and beyond, with a Hoboken real estate agency assisting in advertising and collection.

Lily credits her experience with AHA’s DECA program for equipping her with the necessary skills for such a successful drive.AHADECA, an international organization aimed at preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs, taught her marketing, advertising, and relationship-building, all of which were critical to the success of her project.

Thanks to Lily’s initiative, dozens of Union City High School students will now have the chance to select their dream dress for prom, making it a night to remember.

This story is not just about dresses; it's a testament to the power of community, the spirit of giving, and the remarkable impact one individual can have on the lives of many.