Cool Girl: Ashley, 17, Skipped Prom to Help the Homeless

Ashley Yong, 17, had been saving money to go to her prom. But after looking through dresses, hair ideas and makeup tips, she realized something: “What I was doing was pretty vain and self-absorbed. I was so consumed in figuring out how to make one night the best night of my life.”

She started to notice the homeless people in her area, and she thought about what a big difference the $250 she'd saved for Prom could make in their lives. So she skipped the dance. Ashley went out and bought basic items like socks, food and toothbrushes, packed them in boxes, and distributed them in person the day after the prom. Watching the footage of her giving out these boxes is a testament to Ashley's commitment to this project — she approaches people out on the street and sleeping under an overpass, and she makes real connections. “As my dad and I drove away from the children excitedly rummaging through the boxes, I started crying," says Ashley. "I told my dad I couldn't believe how blessed we were.”

Don't miss the full video of Ashley's project — she filmed it to raise awareness about homelessness in her area, and also to show how easy it is to help. She's thinking even bigger now, with a GoFundMe campaign that has already raised over $5,000. Support her here.