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Community journalism has a different set of rewards that, to me, are more important than the awards we win judged by our journalistic peers. Though a recent story I photographed never got written, it became one of those small rewards. I photographed a couple of girls trying on free prom dresses donated for students in need at our Youth Emergency Services office–story similar to one written by Pulitzer winner Tom Hallman, from the Oregonian, with whom we have regular workshops over the phone. The day after I worked on this assignment, I was walking out of K-Mart when I heard someone yell, “Hey!” I looked around to see one of the girls waving and smiling at me. I went on vacation after filing and came home to learn my photos weren’t used. So here they are.

Shoes line the floor of the gym at the at the YES House on April 29 as John Carl walks to meet his prom date after she found a prom dress among hundreds of donations.
Volunteer Belva Martinez looks through prom dresses donated for students in need at the YES House on April 29.
Sheyenne Butler laughs with volunteers as one of their counterparts dances to Michael Jackson during an event to supply donated prom dresses to girls in need at the YES House on April 29.
Rebecca Johnson thanks volunteers Alora Johnson, from left, Mindy Jaure and Belva Martinez at the YES House on April 29 after they helped her pick out a donated prom dress.
John Carl holds his prom date Rebecca Johnson’s new dress at the YES House on April 29.
Volunteers Mindy Jaure, from left, Alora Johnson and Belva Martinez fuss with Rebecca Johnson new prom dress during a free prom dress extravaganza at the YES House on April 29. Johnson was one of several students in need to find a dress among hundreds of donations.
Volunteer seamstress Cindy Korthaus fits a donated prom dress on Sheyenne Butler at the YES House on April 29.
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