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Senn student receives helping hand for prom

The first time Shanika Harris got called into the school principal’s office was one of the best moments of her life. The straight-A high school senior was nervous and confused, but ultimately elated — she never expected it was for a chance to attend her prom. A ticket had been paid for by an alumna who hadn’t gotten to attend prom in 1960.
“I didn’t understand what was going on at first. When I found out, I burst into tears. I was just happy,” said the 18-year-old Senn High School senior, who has had more on her plate than most teens to handle recently.

Harris’ family recently lost their Cicero home due to foreclosure, and the family has been living in a city shelter. In addition, her mother has congenital heart failure, requiring frequent trips to the hospital. And as the oldest of five children, Shanika often carries the burden when her mother is ill.
So when alumna Fran Plusker visited Senn and learned that some of the students would be unable to attend prom due to financial hardship, she approached Principal Susan Lofton about donating a $120 ticket to one such student. Plusker, who graduated from Senn in 1960, had not been able to attend her own prom and never forgot it.

Continue reading Chicago Sun Times article


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