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  • Prom Dreams 2016
  • 2016 Khadijah Dennis
  • 2016 JMyra Rodriguez
  • 2016 Kadijah Miles
  • Prom Dreams 2015
  • 2015 Claudia Gonzalez
  • 2015 Jessica Rosales
  • 2015 Alani Snipes
  • 2015 Courtney Powell
  • prom-dreams-2014
  • 2014-01
  • 2014-02
  • 2014-03
  • 2014-04
  • prom-dreams-2013
  • 2013-01
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  • prom-dreams-2011
  • 2011-01
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  • 2011-05
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  • 2009-01
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The Bessie Morris Foundation is a Los Angeles County-based 501 (C) (3) organization founded in 2005 by Ivory Freeman in honor of her grandmother, Bessie Bernice Morris. The organization is dedicated to inspiring young women to realize their dreams by emphasizing the importance of academic performance, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-sufficiency. The foundation offers leadership development training, health education, mentoring, personal development and character building programs to at-risk underprivileged high school girls.

Through its Prom Dreams Program, the Bessie Morris Foundation provides financial assistance to low-income high school girls in attending their high school proms. This assistance is in the form of purchasing prom dresses, shoes, accessories, make-up, hairstyling, manicures, pedicures, transportation, prom tickets and prom pictures. All applicants for the Prom Dreams Program are required to submit an essay letter, a letter of recommendation from their teacher or high school counselor and high school transcripts.

In order to qualify, the applicant must maintain a "C" average or better and meet low-income criteria. The Prom Dreams Program has become a big hit among young ladies in under-served, minority areas of Los Angeles County who would otherwise be unable to enjoy this aspect of their high school experience.

Our mission is to mentor, educate and build self-esteem with at risk girls in the inner-city.

Believing In Your Dreams

The Bessie Morris Foundation Believing in Your Dreams Initiative is designed to empower and motivate young ladies and young men to Dream and set goals to achieve those dreams. Our goal is to cultivate a creative learning environment that promotes education and academic performance for overall success in their future endeavors.

This will consist of workshops, project group exercises, guest speakers, field trips, and more. Our hope is to empower our young people to value themselves and teach them that they are truly destined for greatness.

Click here for more information »

After-School Leadership Academy
The Bessie Morris After-School Leadership Academy will focus on building self-esteem, college preparation, financial planning and wellness. This program will run for eight weeks with one session per week. The program will consist of workshops, guest, speakers, filed trips and character building exercises.Our hope is to empower the young ladies to value themselves and teach them that they are truly destined for greatness in spite of their circumstances of surroundings. Our foundation wants them to accept responsibility for their lives and understand that they can be whatever they chose to be without any limitation - to dream and dream big and you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to do.
 
Reach for the Stars - Young Ladies Conference

The Bessie Morris Foundation will present its first Reach for the Stars Young Ladies Conference. Our goal is to focus on building self-esteem, financial planning and healthy living. Each participant will spend the day with a trained professional from the community.

The mission is to empower these young ladies to become whom they chose to be without any limitation; living their lives to the fullest.

Click here to download a flyer...

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives recognize Ivory Freeman

CHP Certificate of Recognition for Ivory Freeman

Ivory Freeman was recently recognized by The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) with the Hommer Garrott Community Service Award at the 16th Annual Achiever's Award Banquet held March 12, 2016. She was recognized for her extraordinary service dedication on or off duty toward improving the quality of others.

NOBLE website

Judge Homer Garrott was the first African American CHP Officer; after 13 years as a CHP, he became a Compton Judge.

Ivory attended the 40th Annual NOBLE conference in Washington, D.C.

L.A. Magazine honored Ivory Freeman for L.A.'s Most Inspiring Women, Community Leader

Photo Credit: Amy Dickerson

On September 16, 2014 at Sofitel Luxury Hotel, Bessie Morris Foundation founder Ivory Freeman was among 10 women honored by L.A. Magazine as game changers who make the city a better place. These incredible women are: Eva Longoria, Rebecca Ninberg, Roberta Diaz Brinton, M.D. (Woman of the Year), Tara Roth, Kathleen Kim, Adele Yellin, Shamim Momin, Susan Fenige, Lorri L. Jean, and Paige Adams-Geller. For more information about these extraordinary women, visit LAMag.com.

Read Ivory's feature at LAMag.com.

View Ivory's Thank You video.

West Angeles Church of God in Christ honored Ivory Freeman and the Bessie Morris Foundation with the "2010 Bishop Blake Impact Award"


(left to right) Mr. Blake, Captain Samuel Dacus, Ivory Freeman, Mary Houston, Antonio Villaraigosa, Leroy Baca

On March 14, 2010 the Bessie Morris Foundation and founder, Ivory Freeman, were honored at West Angeles Cathedral with an award called the "Bishop Blake Impact Award" at the Law Enforcement, Fire Fighter and Military Appreciation Day. The foundation was honored for their positive contributions to the community. Captain Samuel Dacus from Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was honored as well.

Founder Ivory Freeman and the Bessie Morris Foundation were honored with the "Women Making a Powerful Difference Award"

On October 25, 2010 the Bessie Morris Foundation and founder, Ivory Freeman, were honored by Ebony Magazine and Pine-Sol for the "Women Making a Powerful Difference Award" at the Sisterspeak Luncheon (Los Angeles) at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The foundation was honored for their commitment and dedication for inspiring and educating the young ladies in the community. The other honorees consist of four amazing women who are making a difference as well: Kaniesha Northern (Grad Girls Network), Marlow Watt (The Girl Blue Project), Tabbatha Mays (Spirits Landings) and Vonyell Foster (Jewell Gems).

More details and pictures coming soon...

Founder Ivory Freeman Honored with "A SALUTE TO WOMEN WHO INSPIRE US" Award

On June 25, 2009, at Sony Pictures Studios, the Bessie Morris Foundation and founder, Ivory Freeman, were honored by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) America - Southern California (ACCA-SoCal) Chapter and the law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP with an award called "A Salute to Women Who Inspire Us." Barbara Carrasco, renowned Chicana artist and muralist was also honored with the award.

Click here for more details and pictures »

100 Positive Women Campaign and Mentor Program
Announcing the 100 Positive Women!
Click Here

Click here for more information

We are looking for 100 Positive Women to fund and mentor our young ladies. The Bessie Morris Foundation is seeking the support from friends, colleagues and businesses, by asking for your donation for our annual fundraiser:

“100 Positive Women Campaign and Mentor Program,
Women Who Make a Difference in the Lives of Others”

It is our goal to raise $7,000 by having 100 women of the community donate $70 each. The money raised will fund the Bessie Morris Foundation for their fiscal year and will directly cover the cost of the “Prom Dream Program,” “Book Grant for College Program” and the “Young Lady, Reach for the Stars Conference.”

We would like to thank you in advance for your support.
Powerful Women - Women making a positive difference one young lady at a time
The Bessie Morris Foundation would like to celebrate five phenomenal women and their accomplishments. They were asked to share their wisdom and advice on four questions and to share some information about themselves. We present to you...
Vera Blanche Dorsey-Reeves Ruthie Mae
Brooks
Clarice K. Massenberg Christy M. McNorton Velma
McClinton
$5 Foot-Long Program
The $5 Foot-Long Campaign was a major success thanks to the employees of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (Sheriff's Court Service Headquarters Personnel and the Sheriff's Headquarters Personnel). The employees of the Sheriff's Department immediately embaced this campaign and ran with it, knowing that they could make a difference in a young lady's life. In a manner of days, they reached their goal of sponsoring a young lady's entire prom and making her dreams come true. She was able to dance the night away because of their commitment to this campaign. We thank you for believing in us. Way to Go LASD!!!

This year, the Bessie Morris Foundation would like to award scholarships to all 23 of our applicants, but we need your help.  We are launching a campaign called the $5 Foot-Long Program to raise the funds.  For the cost of a foot-long sandwich, you can help send a girl to her prom.

Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 3318, Gardena, CA, 90247.

We are also hoping to capitalize on your popularity.  Once you have donated, can you please go online (Twitter, My Space, Facebook, text, and all other networks) and let everyone know that for the price of a foot-long sandwich you have just sent a girl to her prom with the Bessie Morris Foundation; challenge them to do the same.  With your popularity and great database, we can reach our dream of sending all these great young ladies to their prom.

Thank you for your help.

Prom Night Dreams 2016

We are proud of our 12th annual Prom Dreams winners and wish them much success at college.

Khadijah Dennis Myra Rodriguez Kadijah Miles
Khadijah Dennis
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo HS
Long Beach City College
Myra Rodriguez
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo HS
Long Beach City College
Kadijah Miles
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo HS
Long Beach City College
Prom Night Dreams 2015

We are proud of our 11th annual Prom Dreams winners and wish them much success at college.

Claudia Gonzalez Courtney Powell Jessica Rosales
Claudia Gonzalez
Leuzinger High School
El Camino Community College
Courtney Powell
Inglewood High School
Southwest Community College
Jessica Rosales
Leuzinger High School,
California State University, Los Angeles
Alani Snipies    
Alani Snipes
Morningide High School
California State University Chico
   
Prom Night Dreams 2014

We are proud of our 10th annual Prom Dreams winners and wish them much success at college.

Caprice Gibson Yadira Garcia
Gloria Araya
Hawthorne High School
Now attending:
University of California, Merced
Caprice Gibson
Alain Leroy Locke College Preparatory Academy
Now attending UCLA
Yadira Garcia
Rodriguez Cabrillo High
Now attending Cal State,
Long Beach
DeJanee Smith-Washington    
DeJanee Smith-Washington
Hawthorne High School
Now attending Southwest Community College
   

2013 Winner

Our ninth annual Prom Night Dreams program was a wonderful success! Thank you to all our sponsors who made this program possible and to the many extraordinary young ladies who applied.

   
Noella Bih
Leuzinger High School
Will be attending:
University of California, Merced
   

2012 Winners

Aryonia White
Ramon Cortines High School
Will be attending:
Howard University
Diamond Easley
Washington High School
Will be attending:
Clark Atlanta University
Kadeja Benson
Cabrillo High School
Will be attending:
Long Beach Community College
     
Nathalie Moreira
M. Contreras Learning Complex High School
Will be attending:
University of San Francisco
Masya Harry
King Drew Magnet High School
Will be attending:
Long Beach State University
Shanell Erwing
Morningside High School
Will be attending:
University of Sacramento

Prom Night Dreams Videos
Video clips showcasing our winners, with highlights from the interviews, prom dress shopping, and the pre-prom parties.
2008 Video | 2007 Video - Your L.A.  |  2006 Video  |  2005 Video

Photo Gallery
View photographs of the winners and their special night.
2010 Gallery  |  2009 Gallery  |  2008 Gallery  |  Good-bye Event 2007  |  2007 Gallery
2006 Gallery  |  2005 Gallery
Media Coverage
See clippings from local newspapers that featured a story covering the Prom Night Dreams program.
Book Grant
The Bessie Morris Foundation awards book grant to 2005 recipient.

2011 Winners

Jade Gorum
Inglewood High School
Will be attending:
Loyola Marymount University
Sponsored by
The Lakers Foundation
Renee Howard
Hawthorn High School
Will be attending:
Otis College of Art & Design
Sponsored by
The 100 Positive Women
Maryperla Arroyo
Inglewood High School
Will be attending:
UCLA
Sponsored by
The Lakers Foundation
     
Photography by
Carl Edmonds Sr. of
True Essenz Photography
and Ray McCoy of
DATSMAC Productions.
Montiqua Bruister
Jefferson High School
Will be attending:
Cal State Northridge
Sponsored by
The Brotherhood Crusade
Amber Moore
Inglewood High School
Will be attending:
UC San Diego
Sponsored by
Ebony Magazine

2010 Winners

Lisa Berry
Washington High School
Will be attending:
UC Santa Barbara
Sponsored by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Court Services Headquarters
Charmaine Campbell
Washington High School
Will be attending:
UC Los Angeles
Sponsored by
Bakerwell Foundation
Patricia Gonzales
Fremont High School
Will be attending:
Franklin & Marshall College
Sponsored in Loving Memory of Ruth Ann Walker
     
Jazzminn Henry
Cabrillo High School
Will be attending:
Cal State Fresno
Rosa Hernandez
Jefferson High School
Will be attending:
UC Berkeley
Breanna Wells
Locke High School
Will be attending:
UC Irvine
Sponsored by
Snow Buster Ski Club

2009 Winners

Shaunice Faby
Dorsey High School
Now attending:
Cal State Los Angeles
Sponsored in loving memory of Ruth Ann Walker
Anita Greaves
Dorsey High School
Now attending:
Cal State Dominguez Hills
Sponsored by Snow Buster Ski Club
Akira Thomas
Firebaugh High School
Now attending:
Cal State Los Angeles
     
Yasmin Guzman
Jefferson High School
Now attending:
UC Santa Barbara
Jessica De Luna
Jefferson High School
Now attending:
UC Santa Barbara
Eclasia Wesley
Gardena High School
Now attending:
Southwest Community College

2008 Winners

Erilea Arreola
Jefferson High
Now attending:
Pasadena City College
Tiffany Beasley
Leuzinger High
Now attending:
Cal State Santa Barbara
Lauren Dixon
King Drew Magnet High
Now attending:
Cal State Long Beach
     
 
Cherish Hawkins
Cabrillo High
Now attending:
Long Beach City College
Jasmyne Press
Inglewood High
Now attending:
Clark University
 

2007 Winners

Top Row: Latricia Thomas and Brittnie Harris
Bottom Row: Tiffany Bell, Lauren Holmes, Dulce (Candy) Vargas, and Theresa Shaw
 

2006 Winners
Grand Prize Winner
Letisia Alvarado
Graduated from Jefferson High School
Now attending U.C. Berkeley
1st Runner-Up
LaShondra Richardson
Graduated from Warren High School
Now attending Long Beach City College
2005 Winners
Grand Prize Winner
Tatiana McGlorthan
Graduated from Gardena High School, now attending Loyola Marymount
1st Runner-Up
Maria Mitchell
Graduated from Jefferson High School, now attending Cal State L.A.
2nd Runner-Up
Mercedes Cook
Graduated from Gardena High School, now attending USC
We are now accepting applications for Prom Night Dreams 2014. If you are interested in applying, please read the information on our programs page to see if you qualify, and then visit our application page to download an application.
Special Thanks
Thank you to Charisse Bremond of the Brotherhood Crusade for generously sponsoring our programs. For a complete list of all of our sponsors and for more information on how you can contribute to the Bessie Morris Foundation, please visit our Donations page.
Thank you to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) America - Southern California (ACCA-SoCal) Chapter and Hogan & Hartson LLP for your generosity and support.
Thank you to the employees of Southern California Edison for your donations and for selecting the Bessie Morris Foundation for your Jeans Friday Event. We are forever grateful.
Thank you to Ebony Magazine and the Makers of Pine-Sol Cleaners (Powerful Difference) for your generosity and support. We are forever grateful.
Thank you to the Lakers Youth Foundation for your sponsorship. Thank you so much.
Toyota Thank you to Toyota for your sponsorship of our Leadership Academy program.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Thank you to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, County of Los Angeles, for your generosity and support.
Councilman Bernard C. Parks Thank you fo Councilman Bernard C. Parks, Los Angeles District B., for your generosity and support.