When Jaden Koruba was adopted by her foster parents at age 15, she immediately wanted to give back.
She told her parents, Mark and Stacy Koruba, that she wanted to collect gently used pro and formal gowns with the hopes of donating them to teens in the foster care system.
“Prom is very expensive, and a dress is not something many people can afford, especially foster parents,” Stacy said. “My daughter wanted to try to give a foster teen a special memory that could potentially last a lifetime.”
So far, the Litchfield Park teen has collected 68 dresses with a goal of 200.
“I consider prom or homecoming to be a normal part of high school,” she said. “Many kids aren’t going to be able to experience that.”
Now 17, Jaden was adopted by the Korubas after being with them for six years. She has been collecting the gowns through Facebook groups and Nextdoor. To donate a dress, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaden is active at Verrado High School, where she is a senior. She is the president of the psych club and is on the board of the Key and LGBTQ clubs. She’s also a member of the National Honor Society. Through the city of Litchfield Park, she participates in the Litchfield Park Youth Council.
She doesn’t have a deadline for collecting the dresses, as she’s looking for a partner nonprofit group. Jaden is hoping to land that partnership by December so the dresses can be distributed in time for prom.
“I went to prom last year,” she said. “I had a pretty good time. I’m sure everyone’s prom is going to be different. I want everyone to have that chance to experience it.”
Passionate about art, Jaden plans to study medicine in college so she can be a physician’s assistant.
Stacy is proud of her daughter.
“This is something that is close to my daughter’s heart, as she feels lucky to have found a home where she has been adopted and also feels sad for the kids who are still looking,” she said.