Fitchburg large educator turned fairy godmother organizes Princess Boutique
FITCHBURG — The beaming smile on longtime educator Aury Rivera’s encounter was even additional stunning than the beautiful dresses and equipment on display at the Princess Boutique she set up for the high faculty students.
Her classroom, home 311 at Fitchburg Substantial University, was packed with learners, team, lecturers, and mothers and fathers on Thursday afternoon for the party hosted by the Latin American Club. Hundreds of donated promenade attire in a selection of vivid colours, styles, lengths, fabrics — one dreamy robe soon after an additional — hung up all close to the area have been up for grabs together with footwear, equipment, raffle prizes and more.
“Welcome to our boutique, you see anything you like, consider it on,” Rivera mentioned while welcoming the crowd that poured into her classroom right when she opened what she formally dubbed the Purple Raiders Princess Boutique instantly at 2 p.m.
This is Rivera’s very first calendar year carrying out the boutique as a way to offer learners who if not could not be ready to afford to pay for it a prom dress and all the fixings. The inspiration driving being a fairy godmother of kinds comes from a very particular position — she hardly ever went to promenade herself simply because of the price.
“I could not afford it,” she reported. “I want to check out to assistance as significantly as attainable so they can appreciate their special evening with their classmates and pals.”
Rivera moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico in 1996 and graduated from FHS two several years later on. She lived in the city for 22 several years before shifting to Winchendon five years ago with her partner and their two youngsters.
The focused wife and mom allows out at their bustling relatives business enterprise, Thumbs Up Barber Store on John Fitch Highway, where their daughter also lends a hand and their entrepreneurial teenage son has his possess detail going, Thumbs Up Kicks.
Rivera wears many hats at FHS, wherever she has labored in various positions due to the fact 2003. At the moment she is the Entire world Language Spanish Instructor, World Language Section Facilitator, 2025 Class Advisor, and Latin American Club Advisor.
3 years back, she started collecting prom attire in her small classroom closet after acknowledging some of the college students could not find the money for them “and sending girls to promenade.” This year just one of her previous college students Amanda Barnett, who owns Mnandi Salon & Spa in Leominster, called Rivera indicating she wanted to donate attire.
“I instantly knew we desired to do something even bigger,” Rivera said. “I resolved to do a boutique and open up it up to the entire school.”
She explained “the total of assist was incredible” and that the massive-scale endeavor arrived alongside one another by a large amount of teamwork, not only from Barnett who together with dresses donated a gift certification for hair and make-up, but also other area businesses like Thumbs Up who donated haircuts, Leominster’s SIN Nail Studio who made available manicures and pedicures, two tuxedo rentals from Men’s Wearhouse in Leominster, and a tuxedo and costume rental from Anne’s Bridal & Tux in Gardner.
Rivera was visibly moved as she scanned the space crammed with energetic teens and she teared up speaking about the learners she so obviously cares for and would like to help. She smiled as she served them pack up the goods they picked out into reusable browsing bags to just take household and urged them to enjoy the refreshments and snacks laid out on a table.
There were skincare samples courtesy of a Mary Kay agent, new jewellery donated by the college secretaries and a quantity of raffle prizes such as prom tickets. There were being also present certificates for manicures and pedicures, hair styling, and eight $60 money prizes courtesy of financial donations from academics and the school custodians.
“This desire arrived correct,” Rivera claimed of the result that was born from the community collaboration.
She posed for a photograph involving two gentlemen, seniors Iniel Melendez Colon and Jarbin Diego Martinez, who just about every won a tux rental from Men’s Warehouse, and just one younger lady was overheard gushing about a pair of footwear “Oooo these are really!”
Buddies Nicole Beltran, a freshman, and sophomore Keirianys Pagan stood facet by side in glamorous flooring duration attire and held a indicator that examine “I explained sure to the dress” as they fortunately posed for pics.
There were virtually 250 lovely attire to opt for from, 50 of which came from Oakmont Regional Superior Faculty in Ashburnham through a link by way of FHS teacher Kristen Canterbury. Beaded ones and kinds with sequins, wispy tulle and abundant taffeta in any coloration and hue imaginable.
And then there had been the extras — dozens of shoes, purses and clutches, jewellery and glowing components and bling of all unique kinds, perfume samples, and even a pair of white satin gloves that ended up snatched up.
FHS paraprofessional Kathy Melanson mentioned when she heard what Rivera was up to, she right away volunteered to support.
“I think it’s a excellent cause,” Melanson imparted even though assisting students who were being perusing the jewellery desk, including that she acquired a donated gown for her individual junior promenade and only had to fork out for alterations. “I try to remember that this several years later, which is how considerably it meant to me.”
A person younger girl picked out a sparkly accent, declaring she now had a costume at property but “didn’t know what equipment would go with it,” and another youthful lady came up to Rivera with a headpiece in her hand and requested if she could take it.
“Of training course, it is all yours I’m glad you observed one thing!” Rivera explained with a smile and the scholar grinned and manufactured a place to say thank you once more on her way out.
There was a great deal of anticipation in the weeks primary up to the boutique from the learners.
“They were so psyched,” Rivera disclosed. “Every day they would arrive to my space to see how numerous attire we have. They began a countdown and it was very fascinating to see our figures grow. Ultimate rely 246 attire.”
Rivera was joyful to give the chance for pupils who are attending the Might 13 promenade to shop for a new to them gown and other objects, “a pleasant deal with in a relaxed boutique environment,” and even invited dad and mom to occur by “to see what they can get.”
“I love looking at their smiles,” she explained. “It is actually gratifying viewing them the working day of prom with a big smile getting images, dancing the evening away, and understanding we have been aspect of this.”