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Princess Project gives local teens a prom to remember

Karen Martin- Spellerberg
Volunteers at the Princess Project's store in Westfield Mission Valley Mall, San Diego, March 19, 2023.

A local non-profit hopes to donate 2,000 free dresses this prom season to teen girls who may not be able to afford one.

As prom season approaches, the Princess Project is trying to ensure that every teen girl in San Diego feels beautiful on their special day, regardless of their family’s income.

All they need to show is a high school ID.


In addition to leveling the financial playing field, volunteers also hope to promote self-confidence in the teenagers they serve.

“It’s extremely important to us that we celebrate all shapes and sizes for every single teen," explained Karen Martin-Spellerberg, president of the Princess Project. “Because everyone is beautiful inside and out, and we want them to know that.”

Students can also choose free accessories like shoes and purses to complete their looks.

The nonprofit is keen to promote sustainable fashion and they encourage girls to pay it forward by donating their dress back to the Princess Project once they’re done.

“We’re all about circular fashion and sustainability,” Martin-Spellerberg said. “Because you’re going to wear it once, enjoy that dress, feel beautiful and amazing in it. And if you’d like to donate so someone can use it, we’d love and appreciate it.”


Dresses can be collected from the Princess Project’s store at Westfield Mission Valley Mall, or at six pop-up shops located in local libraries.

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