EDUCATION

Only on 7: Contest winners get special escort to the Ballou High School prom

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The special moment a group of D.C. teenagers have been waiting for all their lives finally came.

Alexander Hamilton, essay contest winner, with his mother, Patricia Hamilton.

It was prom night for students at Ballou High School.

And four couples got to enjoy a limousine ride with a police escort.

Motorcycle clubs from all over the area, Shriners, police and others escorted the lucky couples who rode to the prom on a party bus.

It was a reward to winners of an essay contest about the importance of fathers in black households.

Edwin Buckner got the idea for the contest when he was a resource officer at Ballou, dealing with families.

"Every time a child would get in trouble, it would always be a mother, or aunt, or grandmother," Buckner says.

Winner Carlos Holt wrote about growing up without his father there.

"I miss him a lot, I always think about him," Holt says.

Alexander Hamilton says his father was often gone when he was growing up.

"I struggled with stuff on the streets, like I was doing bad stuff," he says.

Hamilton wrote about how his mom Patricia was both dad and mom to him and his eight siblings.

Family and school turned him around, he says.

"We did go through a lot, and I'm glad that he became a nice young man," says his mother, Patricia Hamilton turning to Alexander. "I love you."

"I love you too," he says.

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