They are the senior class who could. The 2017 graduating class of Eastside Memorial High School has had its ups and downs. Most recently they almost weren't going to have their prom.
But just like in the past, they set in motion some plans and the community is helping them make it happen.
Senior D'Marco Sanders said his class was told less than two months before their prom, because of some fundraising issues, it may not happen. Sanders along with many of his classmates say they weren't going to let that happen.
“We were struggling, thinking man this might not happen, we have to do this, what are we going to do, we just over here brainstorming, throwing ideas in group chats, throwing ideas, throwing ideas,” he said.
This graduating class of 2017 has had its struggles. After years of low academic performance when they were freshman the school was going to close.
Faculty and students all rallied and came together and helped to keep the school open.
“We thrive under pressure, and adversity is our best friend. I can't stress it enough, it's serious, and we love it. When people doubt us, it's like ‘Oh no you didn't’ like we're coming,” Sanders said.
They were successful then, and fighting for their prom wasn't going to be any different.
The seniors decided to start a GoFundMe page, prom sell candy bars and t-shirts, as well as hold a car wash and a bake sale. Within days, the community showed their support.
They had thousands of dollars in donations, bringing them closer to their goal.
Alexia Zamarron is a senior at the high school, “A lot of them are supporting us and saying we hope you have a great time and it's really nice. It's really nice to know that people really care about a school that people really didn’t care about before,” she said.
Prom is now back on the table something the kids said they are super grateful for.
The 2017 class said they hope they are showing future classes to come and the community who the Eastside Memorial fighting Panthers really are, “Nobody is going to say ‘Oh they are the school that couldn't have it, like we have it, we're going to have it, no matter what we're going to do what we have to do to get it. Hopefully it shows others that it's not a bad school, there are good students there, and there are good teachers there. The reputation that we had before isn't who we are today,” Zamarron said.