Powering Up for the 2019 KEEN Prom
Posted 04/09/2019 10:06AM

Support this heartwarming experience

This fall, Camille Helmig, a recent Bullis graduate, recalled her Bullis experience.

Without a doubt, being a part of KEEN is one thing I miss the most about high school. I looked forward to every other Sunday meeting with the students.

KEEN brings upbeat young people together with other upbeat young people. Together, they step outside their comfort zones. Sometimes you can see the moment when it happens.

Over and over, Bullis students involved with KEEN say they joined to help out, and they were changed in the process. That's a big deal. Camille, for instance, who is now at the University of Georgia, is studying for a minor in disability studies.

Last summer, many members of the Bullis faculty read a book, The Power of Moments. (Others opted for UnSelfie or Born Digital.) The book talked about how magnifying the experience of a moment creates more than a memory--it can make meaning. The book said: "Defining moments rewire our understanding of ourselves or the world. In a few seconds or minutes, we realize something that might influence our lives for decades."

That's exactly how the KEEN Prom at Bullis began -- on a night just like this one several years ago. Carly Morgan, a Bullis student from the class of 2016, and founder of our KEEN Club made a poster and brought a flower to meet her buddy Braeden at KEENFest. They had a wonderful night dancing and laughing.

The next week, his mom wrote an email saying that the moment when her son was greeted with the poster and headed off for a night of dancing with his buddy was the closest he'd ever come to a prom night.

Well, that didn't sound good enough. So Carly and the KEEN kids at Bullis planned a real prom. This year we'll host our fourth. With tuxes and dresses and a DJ and lights, we'll get decked out. And when the athletes arrive, they'll be greeted by their date. This is a great moment.

I liked it better than my own prom, said Ethan Copeland '19, co-chair with Sophia Fragoyannis of this year's KEEN program and prom at Bullis.

KEEN Prom is Friday, May 17. We're still looking for support.

» Support KEEN Prom

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