May 31, 2010 12:00 PM

JANETTE MILLER AND STEFAN MOLINA

Austin, Texas

Last fall a failing high school shut by the state reopened with a brand-new name: Eastside Memorial High. One problem: There was no extra money for a senior prom, and families, struggling to pay bills in a tough economy, couldn’t help out. So senior Yesika Acuna, 17, turned for help to Janette Miller, 36, her mentor through the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Long impressed by the straight-A student’s drive, Janette called on a pal, architect Stefan Molina, 35, and within weeks the pair had wrangled $6,000 in cash and in-kind donations, including prom dresses from a local boutique. “I went to prom, and it was special for me,” Stefan says. “I didn’t want these kids to miss out.” Now Yesika, who plans to attend Texas A&M University, is thrilled about her yellow prom dress and picking out Mardi Gras-themed decorations for the May 28 bash at the Mexican American Cultural Center. “Janette and Stefan,” she says, “are godparents to our whole class.”

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