By Paula Mock
EVO provides many opportunities for students; my favorite activities are the EVO formal events. When I was a sophomore, I attended my first EVO formal, where senior EVO students transformed the David Friend Hall (the already magical-feeling gem and mineral hall) into an under-the-stars themed party room. I’d been to school dances before, and I was expecting something similar: an awkward, intimidating environment where I felt anxious and a little uncomfortable. When I walked into the hall, I realized that this was not at all like any school event; the EVO students and staff had created a space that was welcoming, fun, and non-judgmental. I immediately felt more at ease than I had at any other event I’d gone to. I had a great time, and I felt confident enough to approach new people and make new friends that night.
This past February, I went to my second EVO prom. One senior, Taniyah Walker, had been planning the event for months, and she did a fantastic job. Taniyah organized everything: music, decorations, food, and flyers. She made sure to consult the rest of the EVO students to get their opinions about the theme, and we eventually decided on the Roaring 20’s.
It was hard for me to imagine how this year’s EVO prom could be better than the last, but I had an even better time at this event. Students made a playlist specifically for the dance, and people were dancing all throughout the event. There was good food, a wall to take photos in front of, and time to sit down and eat as well as dance (if you wanted to!). It was so cool to see everyone dressed up in what they felt confident in and to spend time with my friends. Every time someone new arrived, everyone rushed over to them and complimented them, even if they didn’t know them very well.
EVO is a tight-knit community, and going to EVO events helps to both solidify existing friendships and meet new friends. I’ve never encountered such a dynamic group of people before, and events like EVO prom help everyone get to know one another even better!