Hardin-Simmons Social Work Club Hosts Prom Party

February 21, 2020 Felicity Neptune, Staff Writer

ABILENE, Texas–Every spring, the Hardin-Simmons Social Work Club hosts its annual “Prom Party” by welcoming Abilene foster youth to campus for a day to pick out a prom dress and learn about life at HSU.

Mrs. Melissa Milliorn, professor and head of the Social Work Program at HSU, has volunteered with the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program since before 2004 with camps, conferences, college days and other events. Milliorn was contacted by a PAL coordinator in 2005 in hopes of hosting a Prom Party at HSU.

What began as a small party of 10 foster youth has now doubled in size and new experiences have been included in the party. In recent years, the party has included activities such as limo rides, fashion shows, and visiting the Six White Horses.

The donated dresses are put on display for the young ladies to browse and try on.

The donated dresses are put on display for the young ladies to browse and try on.

Amanda Ramsey, President of the Social Work Club, said the goal for the party is to give the ladies in foster care the opportunity to pick out their own dress, have fun, and feel beautiful for their spring formal or prom.

“It is an opportunity for our club to celebrate these ladies for who they are and to let them shine for a day,” said Ramsey. “At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that they feel seen, beautiful, and celebrated simply for who they are.”

Milliorn looks forward to working with the young girls each year.

“We have lots of fun with the girls, hoping to give them a day where they feel seen, heard, and loved unconditionally, where they feel valued and important, and where they can see their potential and dream big,” she said. “It is a special day just for them in which, hopefully for a moment, the worries and stressors of their young lives can dissipate, and they can just be happy young girls.”

Milliorn is licensed by the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners as a Licensed Master Social Worker with independent non-clinical practice recognition. She has had direct practice in medical social work as a social worker and case manager at Abilene Regional Medical Center and Girling Health Care as well as child welfare through Child Protective Services, Family Outreach, and the Texas Network for Youth Services.

More information about the Social Work Program can be found on the HSU website.